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Couple 'get married' to raise awareness for climate change

Living
 Iscah Anyango and Pascal Marienga walk along the streets of Nairobi. [PHOTO: ELVIS OGINA]

The sight of a couple dressed in wedding attires drew crowds along the city centre as they marched slowly along the streets. To complete the wedding look, the couple walked arm in arm but not holding flowers; instead they carried tree seedlings.

However, curious onlookers were met with shock when they inched closer and realised the supposed bridegroom had a small coffin made of carton on his head.On the other hand, the beautiful lady dressed in a wedding gown completed the look with a small cap designed like a house but made of cartons.

Meet Pascal Marienga, the man who travelled all the way from Homa Bay County to Nairobi with one message; why there is a need to plant millions of trees."I've been advocating for tree planting for five years but as things appear now, the effects of climate change are real. That is why I decided to use some symbolic features to pass the message.

Marienga said the small coffin on his head made of carton is meant to sensitise people to think of other options and plant trees during burials."The same should be done during weddings, birthdays and even dowry negotiation events. People should plant trees, that way we will achieve the required ten per cent forest cover," Marienga said.

Tree planting

The environmental activist who is an agriculture and technology alumnus argues that much will be achieved if concerned citizens and the government use institutional approach to advocate for tree planting.

"I already have an in-depth manuscript on that. That is why my partner and I are on the streets to pass the message to the right people," Marienga explained."The push for tree planting is not new that is why I believe institutional approach will work and experts like us will come in handy to help."His partner Iscah Anyango was in awhite flowing wedding gown with cardboard cap in the shape of a house.

"The house on my head is also symbolic because, in the villages, homes use a lot of trees leading to defforestation," she said."Trees are used during construction of houses but people forget to replace those trees. That is why I'm here not only to support this caurse but also pass the message in a symbolic way," Iscah added.

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