Communities Resilience to Climate Change

by | Feb 19, 2018

One practical observation we’ve seen as Amara is how traditional communities always include elements of long-term thinking. The catch-phrase is being aware of how every decision will affect the generations to come, but it’s really more than that, it’s about thinking of how everything will affect the planet and what people sometimes call their “future ancestors”.

Land disturbed due to mining

Elders like the Njavungo Council of Elders in Taita Taveta play an enormously significant role in traditional Kenyan societies, which is something we’ve largely lost in our modern culture. There are often specific roles for women, young people, too. Another common traditional belief is that the people who will live with the consequences of their actions are the ones who should make the decisions. Most people today, when we shop, drive or do any number of things we don’t really see the impact of our actions on the environment. People in rural traditional villages feel those impacts more.

Njavungo Council of Elders

Climate change most strongly affects the poorest, because they are directly dependent on the land. At the same time, they are people who contribute the least to the global human impact on climate. They are the ones first impacted by floods, droughts, sea level shifts, extreme weather, and so on, and they all too often don’t have the resources to put themselves out of harms way.

House of one of the community.

So that means it’s a matter of environmental and climate injustice. Many communities feel that as the worldwide climate becomes less stable, they will be less able to count on relief food coming in from the outside world. Many are trying to revive their self-reliance, for example through maintaining traditional varieties of crops and livestock that is more climate resilient.

As they are trying to make decisions on their traditional territory based on all the resources that land provides, and not just what corporations like logging or mining companies can get out of it. Climate change is impacting many of the things we love and cherish, its changing the seasons, upsetting the crops that feed us and affecting precious species. Together let’s protect the world we love from these effects and make sure our love is felt by those can make a world of difference.

One practical observation we’ve seen as Amara is how traditional communities always include elements of long-term thinking. The catch-phrase is being aware of how every decision will affect the generations to come, but it’s really more than that, it’s about thinking of how everything will affect the planet and what people sometimes call their “future ancestors”.

Land disturbed due to mining

Elders like the Njavungo Council of Elders in Taita Taveta play an enormously significant role in traditional Kenyan societies, which is something we’ve largely lost in our modern culture. There are often specific roles for women, young people, too. Another common traditional belief is that the people who will live with the consequences of their actions are the ones who should make the decisions. Most people today, when we shop, drive or do any number of things we don’t really see the impact of our actions on the environment. People in rural traditional villages feel those impacts more.

Njavungo Council of Elders

Climate change most strongly affects the poorest, because they are directly dependent on the land. At the same time, they are people who contribute the least to the global human impact on climate. They are the ones first impacted by floods, droughts, sea level shifts, extreme weather, and so on, and they all too often don’t have the resources to put themselves out of harms way.

House of one of the community.

So that means it’s a matter of environmental and climate injustice. Many communities feel that as the worldwide climate becomes less stable, they will be less able to count on relief food coming in from the outside world. Many are trying to revive their self-reliance, for example through maintaining traditional varieties of crops and livestock that is more climate resilient.

As they are trying to make decisions on their traditional territory based on all the resources that land provides, and not just what corporations like logging or mining companies can get out of it. Climate change is impacting many of the things we love and cherish, its changing the seasons, upsetting the crops that feed us and affecting precious species. Together let’s protect the world we love from these effects and make sure our love is felt by those can make a world of difference.

The Tsavo West National Park is a section of one of the largest wildlife conservancies on the planet, as well as one of Kenya’s largest wildlife national parks. It is well-known for its resident population of Red Elephants as well as the tale of the Tsavo Man-eaters. Unfortunately, most of the communities bordering these parks have never had a chance to visit them due to the cost. For these reasons Amara organizes game drives with Purdue University students each year into Tsavo West National Park. We also encourage children to form Wildlife Clubs and embrace their wildlife and environment. This year Mrabenyi Secondary School in Taita Taveta County had the opportunity to tour the vast Park and interact with the University students from USA.

 

tHistorically, the Tsavo Area is renowned for the Man-eaters of Tsavo, two mane-less lions who developed a taste to prey on humans back in the early 1900’s (various reasons are cited for this, one recently being that they suffered from tooth decay and pain that made hunting difficult for them!). Although they were later shot, they killed many people that were constructing the railway line connecting Mombasa and Nairobi. Additionally, it was the main battlefield between the Germans and the Britons in Africa in the course of World War I. Currently the area is very peaceful and is now famous for its resident Red-colored Elephants, that enjoy dust-bathing in the red colored soil. The serene environment of Tsavo comes mainly with thorny bushland, open grasslands and among the most beautiful scenic areas are; the Yatta plateau, the World’s longest lava flow stretching 290km; Mzima springs; Shetani Lava Flow; Chaimu Hill; and Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary.

 

 

 

 

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