Monday, November 06, 2006


I am writing this from the United Nations complex in Nairobi where the COP 12 meeting on Climate Change is going on.

It is exciting that the world is continually discussing issues that concern us.But we need to move from the discussion table to the action table. It is a sad state of affair when all we do is talk and do very little about issues that pose great danger to our society.

I keep hearing know the west is the greatest emitter of Green house gases and yet it is taking very little responsibility. I also hear that... although it might be the emitter of the most green house gases, it's people suffer the least. Who suffers the most? The developing countries whose emissions are unbelievably low. So what is wrong with this picture? Other than the west needing to take responsibility, we need our African countries to give Climate Change issues the prominence they give to issues of health.

Climate Change issues might not affect us right now, or so you believe, but later this issue takes a turn for the worse. Look at our weather patterns. Look at the Budalangi floods that happen ever so often. Why can't our government connect this disaster to the changes in climate? Why do we wait to invent the light bulb in the middle of the night when it is totally dark? Why can't we anticipate these changes and do something about them before they happen?

The Hon. Kibwana is the President of this COP 12 meeting.This means that Kenya has a visible status in this meeting.But it is sad that even with this prominence, Kenya is looking bad in terms of making sure that issues of Climate Change are well represented.

The civil society need to lobby the government so that issues of climate change don't take a back seat. You know, the most dangerous thing about Climate change issues not being given precedence right now is that later we will all wish we had done something.The repercurssions will be so great and so irreversible that we will all wish that we did something when we had a chance.

Hon. Kibwana, as we sit out here and listen to you chair the meetings intelligently, can we have the same vigor and intrigue put forth to engage the government of Kenya? Or are we forever inclined to be on nature's angry receiving end? The deaths that occurred in the coast as a result of the floods were a mistake.No not of nature, but of the government of Kenya. We should have ministers and other bodies thinking ahead of schedule. For example, these floods we now face are building up to an El Nino of some sorts. Are we prepared to counter that?Or are we waiting until it is too late to do anything?

Mheshimiwa, it would be good to hear from you.

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