Kisumu County Chief Officer in charge of Youth Affairs Timothy Kajwang’ has challenged young people in the region to actively engage in climate change response activities to mitigate the adverse effects of the phenomenon.
Kajwang said climate change mitigation presented an avenue for the youth to venture into income-generating activities while at the same time playing a significant role in environmental conservation.
He challenged the youth to be innovative and come up with alternative technologies to manage and recycle waste to curb pollution and environmental degradation.
Other initiatives like setting up tree nurseries and tree planting, Kajwang added, were viable ventures for the youths to earn a living while actively engaging in climate change mitigation.
Speaking during the International Youth Week Celebrations held in Kisumu, Kajwang said climate change was a reality with the effects being felt across the country.
Pollution, he added, remains a big challenge contributing to climate change, adding that the county government was actively engaging the youth to contain the menace.
“We recently saw fish farmers in Lake Victoria incur losses running into millions of shillings with investigations pointing to pollution. We must therefore quickly address this challenge,” he said.
The Chief Officer said the county government has rolled out plans to support youths who come up with technologies and programmes to conserve the environment urging them to take advantage and innovate.
“Currently we are supporting a youth group that is engaged in using waste from the lake to manufacture animal feeds. We want more youths to take advantage of this initiative and commercialize such processes to empower themselves economically,” he said.
The international youth week celebrations which run up to 11th August 2023, he added, would provide a platform for the youth to engage and share ideas on how to mitigate climate change.
This year’s theme Youth for Climate Change, he said, resonates with the call to act now to save the globe against the adverse effects of the phenomenon.
“This year’s theme is in line with our other activities such as the devolution conference and Kicosca games and this goes as far as taking care of our lake by not allowing debris in the form of plastics to pollute our lake. This is a key priority to the county and the governor even as we partner with other organisations,” he said.
Speaking during the occasion, participants from various organisations emphasised the importance of involving youth in climate-related decision-making processes, acknowledging their significant role in driving transformative change.
Champions of Peace Director Elly Opondo said the climate change initiatives must leave United Nations boardrooms and be cascaded to the grassroots for meaningful gains to be realised.
“Time has come for us to have clear national and sub-national approaches to this issue for us to make headway,” he said.
The event also focused on empowering young leaders to make informed choices and promote eco-friendly practices served as a call to action for a greener, and more sustainable environment.
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