Thursday, 20 October 2011

Africa People’s Petition Signature Drive Gains Momentum in Kenya

Map of Kenya
 When it comes to petition signing, quantity and quality matters. Quantity meaning the number of signatures collected. Quality meaning the different publics engaged in the activity. Something else is strategy, strategy, strategy. It is becoming clear that without strategy getting the signatures required is a tough sell. The Trans African Caravan of Hope has a target number of signatures for all participating countries.
Petition Drive in Kenya’s Slum Areas, Primary and Secondary Schools
The Africa People’s Petition Signature drive is at its peak right now as we near the UNFCCC meeting this coming November and December 2011. In Kenya, the drive for signatures started in earnest and has maintained momentum through different activities. It started with an idea shared with some youth in the slums of Nairobi. They wanted to make a contribution to climate justice and thought the signature drive would be a good place to kick off. Well, it was. It was a simple strategy; 10,000 signatures, 5 influential youth leaders in 5 slum areas in Nairobi. Each young person sitting at the table was asked to commit to bring 2,000 signatures and they could have their friends help in collecting them. It worked. There were challenges though. Events were taking place all over the city of Nairobi. These youth were committed to a number of them. This definitely caused a delay in the 5 day timeline. Not for long though. They only needed three extra days and when it was done, 13,000 plus signatures had been collected.
Petition Drive in Kenyan Universities
Shortly after that, university students picked up the drive and now six universities in Kenya are taking part in the petition signature drives. This university engagement is led by 4 students who are also recruiting others to help in the petition signature drives.
Petition Drive in Climate Change Expo
The university activity was followed closely by petition signing during a recently concluded Climate Change Expo that Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources had organized. Over 25 exhibiters were present at the Kenyatta International Conference Center, KICC. The human traffic was great as a result of two other exhibitions that were held at the same location. During that time, the visitors to the stand got to know more about PACJA and the Trans African Caravan of Hope. Another strategy was employed for this setting. The first ten exhibiters were given the petition forms and had had their visitors signing them. Close to a thousand signatures were collected.

Petition Drive in Kenyan Counties

Several counties are getting on board in the signature drive. The counties include Isiolo, Marasabit, Maralal, Lodwar and Mandera. These areas are the worst hit by the  negative effects of Climate Change since they are in Arid and Semi-Arid Land in Kenya. Other counties include Malindi, Mombasa, Lamu and Kwale and the numbers are increasing. PACJA and Kenya Climate Change Working Group - KCCWG, are using civil society networks to drive the petition signing.
More events that will create awareness and encourage petition signing are taking place while others are in the pipeline just before the caravan is flagged off in various countries.

By Maria Wanza

1 comment:

  1. hello there..
    first let me give you a proud to hv an excellent blog , even I hv not read all yet lol
    I wish I can talk to you more about climate change in Africa or climate change issue.
    so if you mind to give me your email addres? its an honor