Kenya today faces unprecedented environmental challenges which has brought about diseases, poverty and hunger, resource based conflicts among others. Loss of Forest cover and biodiversity, climate change and drying of wetlands are some of the environmental challenges that have led to the current scenario we have in the country. The solution to these lies in the hands of a Kenyan voter though it is strange to say so. As voters, we have a chance to reverse the situation by demanding to know from those seeking the top offices on their position regarding environmental agenda. Just like any other development agenda in the country, environmental agenda should be prioritized as majority of the citizens depend entirely and directly on Nature for livelihood and survival.
Proper Leadership, political will and resources are required to restore dry rivers, protect water towers, return integrity to our soils, provide sufficient water for human consumption and irrigation, and regularize rainfall patterns.Perhaps, we can borrow a leaf from our northern neighbour, Ethiopia, which, though impoverished and experiencing some of the world's worst famines, pulled an incredible feat, increasing its forest cover from just three per cent in 2000 to nine per cent last year. During the intervening period, Ethiopia undertook massive tree-planting campaigns to bring its forest cover to internationally accepted levels and restore lost biodiversity. A UN report indicates that Ethiopians planted 700 million trees in 2007 alone in its efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
There is no doubt that the political leadership can play a critical role in mobilizing both urban and rural populations to adopt cost-effective lifestyles and appropriate technologies friendly to the environment. The government should also consider incorporating environmental education in Schools from the lower level as this will enable the children grow up to be responsible, caring and knowledgeable adults who will be custodians of our planet. Lastly, sustainable development should be upheld as it focuses on the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their needs and in that case, if we destroy the environment now ,the future generation will be adversely affected and suffer due to our actions.