Monday, 14 November 2011

House Speaker Flags Off The Caravan

Raising the Kenyan Flag high
By Maria Wanza

Kenya's house speaker  Hon Kenneth Marenda through his temporary speaker Prof Philip Kaloki  officially flagged off the Trans African Caravan of Hope  in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday. The colorful event was well attended by government officials who included Hon Wilbur Otichillo, who is part of the PANARECC, Parliamentary Network  on Renewable Energy and Climate Change, The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, MEMR, Hon Ali Dawood Mohamed, civil society, women and youth groups. The flag off started as a procession from central park and made its way to Kenyatta International Conference Center,KICC and was led by a colorful prisons band who were followed by banner holding and branded tshirt wearing crowd. In his speech, the Hon Marende said that climate change is a challenge to economic growth and development as Kenya's economy relies heavily on natural endowments. Droughts, he said, those specifically of 1998 to 2000 had cost the country USD2.8 billion. This was as a result of forest fires, loss of crops and livestock, damage to fisheries, reduced hydro power generation, reduced industrial production and water supply. He noted that even though he was aware that adaptation was the most effective option for helping Africa, it was going to come at a cost.Adaptation, he added, would cost USD1 to 2billion per year by the year 2030. Africa's hopes and aspirations should be held high in South Africa, he said. Adding that the Trans African Caravan of Hope, should as they tell the African story on the impacts of climate change include, climate is now a justice issue.
Mr Isaac Kalua, Chairman Green Africa Foundation looks at the just signed petition as PS Ali Dawood and PACJA,Continental Coordinator , Mithika Mwenda,look on
On his part, PS Mohamed said that during an AMCEN meeting earlier this year, African ministers had a position which would be presented during  COP17 which in essence said that the west must take historical responsibility. He said,Durban  would not be easy but that Africa should be flexible and be ready to engage with partners. PACJA which is coordinating this huge awareness effort had its continental coordinator, Mithika Mwenda, present. In his speech he appreciated the efforts of Kenya Climate Change Working Group on awareness on climate change.He also pointed out that this event was a clear indication of the solidarity Africa is taking to Durban.
Participants get engaged
during the launch
During the event the KCCWG convener, John Kioli said that the demands of Africa were clear: to keep Africa and the world safe and prevent catastrophic climate change impacts, share the effort of curbing climate change fairly and ensuring polluters, not the poor, must pay. These demands are a summary of the Africa People Petition that PACJA and her partners are going to present to the incoming COP17 president Minister of International Relations and Cooperation South Africa, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. The Caravan left for Dar es Salam Tanzania where a colorful flag off is expected.

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