Flicking the switch to raise awareness about climate change
By ALLY JAMAH
The final countdown has began as Nairobi prepares to join hundreds of other cities in the world to switch off electricity for one hour to send a robust message against climate change.
Officials of the National Environment Trust Fund (Netfund) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) are putting final touches for the "Earth Hour" that will see lights switched off for a full hour at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre this Saturday from 8:30 pm.
Earth Hour is a global event held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness on the need to take action on climate change.
The KICC event will be in solidarity with similar occurrences in other global landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, the Obelisk in Argentina, Alhambra in Spain and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. KICC is Nairobi’s most iconic building.
The headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) in Nairobi will also be in darkness. City residents have been invited to take part in large numbers
A concert by top Kenyan artistes will jazz the event including shows by Goodwill Ambassador to the WWF Achieng’ Abura, Emmy Kosgei, Daddy Owen, and Juliani. Prominent Kenyan athletes will also be present and will become Earth Hour Ambassadors. "We want to encourage Kenyans to be conscious of the environment as they undertake their day-to-day activities. This way we would voluntarily minimise our negative impacts on the environment," said the Ann Githinji, the Chairperson of Netfund yesterday.
Songbird Achieng Abura cautioned that Kenya is feeling the harsh effects of climate change citing the ongoing drought in many parts of the country, and causing significant food shortages. "We don’t have the luxury of sitting back and not taking action against climate change," she said.
WWF’s Communication and Branding Director Kimunya Mugo advised Kenyans to cut wastage of water, electricity and other resources to save the planet from exhaustion and disintegration.
"Our homes and offices need to be more energy efficient, to do more work with less energy. We also need to use renewable energy such as geothermal and solar to power our economy," he said.
Keep politics out of Mau re-greening initiativeNewspaper pages and national television screens are heavy with content on politics and political analyses, but very light on human interest stories, environment matters and so-called soft journalism pieces.
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