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Project on climate resilience targeting youth, women launched

Crop
 

Drying trees in Amboseli, Kajiado County. [Jonah Onyango, Standrd]

ChildFund and Dow organizations have launched the Regreening Africa Project to counter the impact of climate change. The program also aims to improve the resilience and adaptability of youth, women, and children in Nairobi, Makueni, and Kajiado counties. Leonard Kareko, Dow East Africa Managing Director, announced the Sh13 million project titled Regreening Africa. He emphasized that the project would bring together partners to work with youth and women by establishing tree nurseries as sustainable, income-generating enterprises and climate change mitigation efforts. Kareko stated, “The project aims to train youths on how to operate commercial fruit and agroforestry tree nurseries that will be sold to schools, individuals, and communities, supporting reforestation, enhanced environmental conservation, and green communities while mitigating the impacts of climate change.” Speaking during the project's launch, Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya called for collaboration among all stakeholders to address the menace of climate change in the country. “Kenya’s economy is largely dependent on rain-fed agriculture and tourism, making it susceptible to climate change and extreme weather events,” noted Tuya. She highlighted activities like burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and overstocking in small areas as factors contributing to climate change and emphasized that they should not be advocated for. Tuya recalled the acute hunger and severe drought in the greater Horn of Africa, worsened by conflict, instability, the Covid-19 pandemic, and rising food prices. She stressed that climate change has disproportionately affected semi-arid lands, leading to the government's declaration of drought as a national disaster in 2021. The Cabinet Secretary pointed out that youth, women, and children were among the most affected due to their reliance on livestock rearing and farming. ChildFund International Africa Regional Director, Chege Ngugi, explained that the project would empower 31,000 women and youth in urban and informal settlements with sustainable income opportunities. Ngugi added that the project aimed to increase income potential by 60 percent per month, improving living standards. “Regreening Africa will pave the way for decent employment while simultaneously building climate resilience and paving the way toward a greener, more environmentally sustainable future, championed by our vibrant youth and women,” said Chege.

He emphasized the project's goals of empowering women and youth while addressing climate change through tree-planting initiatives. Chege outlined the objective of engaging 600 youth and 300 women in climate-smart green enterprises, promoting reforestation and resulting in increased incomes by December 2024. ChildFund Country Director Alice Anukur highlighted that among the trees planted, over 13,000 would consist of grafted fruit trees like avocados, mangoes, oranges, and moringa, among others. These trees would contribute to the nutritional value of the health of more than 600 children.

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