A Rocha Kenya is currently working with three secondary schools within Nairobi to address global sustainability issues such as biodiversity, climate change, waste management, food and water and trees and deforestation, encouraging them to take action, propose their ideas to politicians and share the same ideas with schools from other countries pursuing the same project.
One of our schools is Lenana where the students have engaged with the project with huge enthusiasm and creativity and a determination to make a difference within the school community and grounds, as well as more widely.
They have begun detailed research on the topics above and are putting together plans for practical action, which range from setting up a scientific project monitoring the regeneration of natural vegetation in the school grounds, to running awareness raising seminars with local schools on climate change. They also have plans for tree planting and labeling in the school grounds, for a conservation agriculture plot and for addressing the challenge of waste management in Nairobi.
According to a report by UN Habitat, Nairobi has the highest rate of population growth per annum in Africa, with 75% of urban population growth being absorbed by informal settlements. However, proper waste disposal, garbage collection, drainage systems and reuse and recycling of waste has not yet been effectively achieved in the informal settlements within Nairobi.
In line with the well known mantra ‘Think globally, act locally’, Lenana students have taken action by initiating various activities to address this issue. On 8TH November, 2014, Lenana School Environmental Club in collaboration with the Christian Family Chapel, Family Bank, Nairobi County Government and A Rocha Kenya organized a successful clean up exercise in Ng’ando Estate which borders their school.
This attracted more than 300 participants, with the main aims being to clean the estate and to sensitize the community to the need to keep the local environment clean. The club has also installed dustbins within the school compound and plans to separate the waste collected, biodegradable material being used to make compost manure while the plastics and other non-biodegradable material will be re-used or recycled. The dustbins themselves are made from used Jerry cans, a lovely visual aid for the principle of re-using!
We are delighted to see this group of students engaging passionately with the big environmental and sustainability issues of the 21st Century – indeed the knowledge and experience they are building up will begin to equip them as future leaders in this field. At A Rocha Kenya it is our heartfelt desire to see God’s wonderful creation conserved and restored for the generations to come, who will need it’s resources and enjoy it’s beauty – and so we thank God for what is happening at Lenana School, (as well as for many other similar projects across Kenya), and for the contribution they are making to this end.