A visit to the land of Simba
On August 7th, the Make the Link Climate exChange team met in the “land of simba” – Kenya. Simba in Swahili means lion, but most of you probably learned this by getting to know Mustafa’s son Simba, the star in Disney’s “The Lion King”.
Lions are a source of income for Kenya thanks to protected national reserves. In fact, tourists from all over the world come and bring in an approximate 620 million pounds each year. For this reason, it is distressing to read that Kenya’s lions could disappear within the next ten years.
According to an article in the new scientist, 100 lions are disappearing from Kenya each year. The major reason is the destruction of their habitat, but drought has also been a contributing factor. Kenya is experiencing a severe drought and this is leading to rural people going into “wildlife areas in search of grazing and water supplies for their herds of livestock”. The increase of severe drought is linked to climate change. I am writing about lions because their disappearance has something to do with what our project is about because in the next ten years the young people we are working with will inherit our world and will have to solve one of our greatest challenges ahead: climate change.
Make the Link – Climate exChange is all about young people’s increased awareness and understanding of the global dimensions of climate change. During one week in Kisumu, Kenya’s third biggest city, our representatives from Kenya, Malawi, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and the UK met to discuss how we take the programme forward and keep on inspiring teachers and young people on let’s be honest a quite dry topic.
The highlight of the meeting was a surprise visit to three schools in Kisumu, where we met with Peter, the head teacher of Obola Primary school, Richard doing a water and sanitation project at Nyabera primary school and Florence and Atieno from Nyamgun Primary school. It was so inspiring to see that our African partner schools have both solar panels, green houses and are using the power of the sun to keep students healthy. Encouraging teachers and students to adapt to climate change will be very important in East Africa, because the drought is not something happening 10 years down the line, it is happening now. Make the Link – Climate exChange wants to bring this reality back to Europe in order to ensure that in the jungle the mighty jungle the lions will still sleep tomorrow tonight… if we continue our work on halting climate change…
Blog posted on the Make the Link – Climate exChange website