I have been fortunate enough to work in Kenya twice. On both occasions, I have collaborated with highly skilled and experienced organisations and individuals. The drive and determination of the younger generation is beyond impressive, and the pride they have in Kenya unfaltering.
Unfortunately, the people who are working so hard to preserve and improve the Kenyan environment are up against the seemingly unstoppable powers of climate change.
Projects from tree plantations, to solar-powered cookers made from cardboard boxes in Kibera, are gathering momentum. But so are the numbers of people left with nothing as a result of both drought and flooding.
Forgive this huge generalisation, but in my experience of working with young Kenyans, is that they rarely show a defeatist attitude. Even with the current drought crisis in East Africa, my contacts in both rural and urban Kenya remain upbeat about fulfilling their hopes and aspirations for the country.
In Nyanza, I was totally bowled over by the work going on to protect and improve the rapidly degrading landscape.
One such project is the Ecosan pit latrine project. which is designed to improve sanitation, and with the help of charcoal, recycle waste safely to help farming.
The Unit serves three purposes: 1. Safe waste disposal 2. Improving environmental health 3. Being a prerequisite for organic farming, which is a livelihood alternative to wetland farming.
Patrick Omullo, built his own prefabricated ecosan in less than four days. but the standard ecosan unit takes a week to put up!
A couple of organisations really pushing the boundaries for change in Nyanza Province are the following: