ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Because we have only one earth
Environmental justice team is a community based organization based in Samburu county that combines women and youth effort in championing for one earth and care for the environment in Samburu county. Located in Samburu west constituency, the urge for care for our common home is a pleasing and motivating story of a young man Andrew Green Lokitamba, who passionately had early in his college life had several contests on Mr. environment to an extent of nicknaming himself MR Green and after winning the 2016 title at the University of Eldoret, he brought the idea to birth at Samburu county. Aiming at promoting inclusive and sustainable future, he started Environmental justice club in Maralal and its environs making it the fore front of pastoralist community development. This initiative aligns to strengthening pastoralist communityâs capacity on climate change and it's linkages as it stands today and Maralal ward makes such a living example arid to green land because of the Environmental Justice club.
Areas of focus.
Environmental justice Samburu works and taps into various domains to achieve its mission and set targets as outlined below;
Promoting food security.
The team has developed a criteria of creating awareness on food shortage and maximizing every opportunity to ensure there is enough food for the community members engaging in the justice for environment. It has created job opportunities for women who can now work in the tree nurseries and can meet their daily needs.
Securing green space and climate change.
Environmental justice team has secured a green park space in samburu maralal town. The park is a serene environment where one can now find recreation and recollection hour. This will be brought about by adoption rangeland management where by members of the community ensures that animals feed in paddocks so as to secure green space. Securing green space ensures that the soil gets justice as the soil will not be left bear thus curbing soil erosion.
Empowering community towards achieving Environmental justice.
Pastoralistâs communities are the people greatly affected by climate change as the weather pattern has changed making it unbearable to their flocks therefore environmental justice urges the community to engage in the smart agriculture whereby they can use their portion of land to engage in agriculture rather than continued keeping of animals with these unbearable weather.
The team also did a workshop last week that enabled them launch to the community another form of agriculture that ensures constant supply to the market. These type of smart agriculture is called the hydroponic farming where crops are planted in a hydroponic solution. This idea made them won climate youth action brought by zuhura impact. This type of agriculture ensures that the crops are readily and constantly available which will curb food shortage to the market and food security will be priority.
Mental and psychological support.
On occasions, the youths take sessions in the green park schedule to counsel people living under any psychological trauma or disturbance. This initiative has reduced chances linked to suicidal decisions and has seen health problem solving approaches in the community and is continuously increasing chances of health social interactions.
Environmental justice has also taken an initiative of providing mental health and psychological support to youths by providing workshops for them and also activities like tournament that will give them a chance to show case their talent and ability and therefore keeping them busy and happy. This initiative makes them feel loved as members of the community and gives them an opportunity to speak out and relieve themselves. This initiative slogan is "Nothing for us without us.â
Samburu County is purely organized in terms of waste disposal and collection. The team educates the community on the importance of managing waste. Not all waste decomposes therefore some waste are threat to the soil and the best way of managing these waste is through recycling, reusing and also to repurpose
These type of waste management is seen in their tree nursery where they have planted some vegetables on a piece of tyre, plastic basins and sinks. Also they use different drinks cane to plant their seedlings and also boxes for milk among others. When the community engage in such activities they become environment friendly, through repurposing, reusing and recycling their waste.
They have encroached to schools and churches ensuring every institution has and environmental club responsible for greening Samburu. The clubs are very active and the team takes it to school calendar and lessons planed for Friday. The team sensitizes the community at large towards doing what is right to the mother earth. Therefore the team development a program that aimed at greening the institutions like schools, churches, prisons and also giving education on the effects of climate change that is brought about by bad human behavior towards the environment.
The pictures below are talking pictures of the achievements of environmental club team since its formation across years. Recently on the climate change challenge on the many events undertaken in Samburu County, team environmental justice emerged winners and bagged an award.
A picture of two team members on the climate action award for 2023 recognition of Environmental justice.
These team has established a tree nursery that is now becoming the source of every tree in the whole center for the community needs. This nursery has different tree species comprising of food trees and flowers. Majority of these species were not bought but gathered from around the area dustbin in the case of food trees. Through the help of PACIDA and KFS (Kenya Forest service) the environmental justice team, has done a lot to the communities in Samburu County.
Environmental team tree nursery sites.
A group of youths taking a picture after an environmental session by Kenya forest service team
The work done by Environmental justice is incredible. Creating a sustainable environment whereby there will be mutual relationship between man and the environment. This gives the community a sense of responsibility whereby they know when they take good care of the environment also the environment will take good care of them. And that is why the team saw that it is good to take care of our common home that is mother earth. âBecause we have one earthâ