Kenya has joined the world in commemorating the World Environment Day on a day that coincided with Eid al Fitr. The annual World Environment Day celebrated today is a pioneer principal vehicle of the United Nations aimed at encouraging the awareness and action for the safeguarding of the environment. The first World Environment Day commenced in 1974 to address the growing deterioration of the environment.
The day is observed worldwide with each nation having its distinct national celebrations spearheaded by different by government agencies tasked with the responsibility of environmental protection; the United Nations Environmental Programme, civil society and other organisations.
The theme for this year’s day is “Air Pollution”. In Kenya different organisations have formed partnerships or initiated their individual activities to create awareness on the challenges experienced due to air pollution.
The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) which incubates enterprises that offer climate-innovative solutions in the fields of water management, agribusiness and green energy is conducting diverse activities with its clients to mitigate air pollution.
KCIC is sensitising clients and the general public on how they can effectively run enterprises with minimal noxious emissions to the environment. KCIC-funded clients are required to curb the emission of carbon dioxide into the environment by producing low carbon products.
One of KCIC’s clients, Laikipia Permaculture Limited, who produces cosmetic and opuntia food products and services has managed to reduce carbon emissions while at the same time enabling food security and improving the quality of life to communities living in the semi-arid area. Laikipia Permaculture produces foodstuff including wine and margarine from the locally available cacti in Laikipia as the raw materials and runs their production using green energy thus achieving reduced air pollution.
The parameters used in measuring the amount of carbon emissions are provided in a formula administered by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Organisationsin the world are currently encouraged to adopt the formula and the recommended measures of reducing air contamination.
The world is currently grappling with the effects of air pollution, with the United Nations estimating that one in every nine deaths in the world is caused by the effects of a polluted environment. This amounts to seven million deaths annually. Global warming has also been attributed to pollution through the erosion of the ozone layer, lowering labour productivity and increasing food insecurity.
This article was first published on KBC Channel 1 by Solomon Irungu