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The Chance to Change

Growing up in the little known hamlet of Wachidha, we relied heavily on our land. We knew whenever schools closed in August, we were going to have a long holiday harvesting sorghum and pounding them for storage.

We knew when to plant, wild boars only appeared when the sorghum had reached the height of a toddler and we knew the moment we saw weaver birds flock our homes, we were almost ready for harvest.

Children were named after these distinct seasons and it was known that a girl by the name Akeyo was born during harvesting, the second quarter of the year. From simple things such as naming of children to our economic structure, our whole lives revolved around the climate and its seasons.

Fast forward to today, farmers plant on speculation. The weather is so unpredictable they rely heavily on instinct and luck. Those who manage to catch the rains only hang on to the prayer that the weather hold up long enough for them to profit from their crops. Sometimes they are lucky, most times not so much.

The result, poverty brought by low food production which is not a good point to start if you want to talk about development. Wachidha 20 years on is still a hamlet, in fact it is detoriating. So when I got the opportunity to be part of Climate Tracker I thought, this might be the only chance I have to make our voices heard. Climate change is bogging all aspects of our society down.

The immense information and exposure to facts has made me realize that our actions, however small they may seem to be, have far reaching effects. It gave me a moment to reflect on just how I can help out. How can I champion for the right to a clean environment on behalf of the young girl who has resorted to prostitution to put food on the table because she can no longer rely on her farm or the low fish count in the lake.

Climate tracker has opened my mind and eyes further and shown me that it doesn’t matter how small it is a simple act such as writing can be used to effect change. The global climate actions that have been highlighted through the campaign have given me the push I needed to be part of the global movement that seeks for true change.

As a result I am working on a School Recycling Programme that will put up recycling bins in schools across the country in a bid to raise a generation of recyclers and educate them on the importance of embracing renewable energy.

 

About Nora Ordia Akelo