Over 40 young men and women converged at the Global Platform Nairobi, ActionAid International Kenya’s youth hub to showcase their ingenuity and commitment to combating climate change, at the Alternatives to Climate Change Innovations Awards held between January 25th and 26th, 2024.
With little to no resources, these youth have initiated projects that are changing their socio-economic status now, as they look to secure their future. The proactive involvement of young Kenyans in devising and implementing innovative solutions to combat climate change underscores the pivotal role they play in shaping a resilient response to environmental challenges.
10 projects were presented from different counties in Kenya including Homabay, Makueni, Isiolo, Garissa, Kilifi, Baringo, Kakamega, and Kajiado. As the curtains closed on an exhilarating two days of groundbreaking ideas and engaging discussions at the Alternatives to Climate Change forum, winners who have turned their passion for environmental sustainability into actionable solutions were announced by the judges.
Taking the lead with a grand prize of KSh150,000 was Suleiman Keya for his remarkable agroecology project in Kilifi County. His dedication to sustainable farming is seeding hope for a greener future!
Suleiman Keya embarked on an agroecology model of farming in the sandy expanse of Kilifi County and overcame challenges such as water scarcity. Suleiman’s venture not only defied environmental odds but also involved new graduates of high school, nurturing them into climate action champions.
“This is awesome, an encouraging shot in the arm and I vow to continue recruiting more young people and women into the agroecology movement,” said the elated Suleiman.
In second place, walking away with KSh100,000 was Lucky Kazungu, whose innovative Goat Farming initiative in Kilifi is a game-changer for local agriculture and the economy.
Grabbing the third spot with a prize of KSh75,000 was Damaris Auma Opilu from Baba Dogo, Nairobi County, for her eco-friendly Bamboo Briquette invention. A true testament to cleaner energy solutions!
And not forgetting the commendable fourth position, Edith Lapei who won KSh50,000 for her inspiring work in Permaculture in Baringo. Her project paints a lush future for our environment!
Among other notable innovations were ‘One Million Trees’ by Abdikadir from Garissa and a promising startup idea in Nairobi, focused on Solar Drier and spearheaded by Wesley Tom. The event resonated as a celebration of innovation, resilience, and a collective commitment to addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change in Kenya.
ActionAid Kenya’s engagement in supporting youth-led actions and fostering climate justice social movements, including Ecological Justice and The Ecovista movements, emphasizes our dedication to nurturing grassroots initiatives. Additionally, ActionAid Kenya has championed sustainable agriculture in Kenya through an agroecology model of farming, collaborating with more than 1,500 farmers to adopt climate-resilient practices that enhance food security and diminish greenhouse gas emissions in rural areas.
Author: Mary Consolata Makokha, Communications Officer ActionAid Kenya. Edited by Ezra Kiriago ,Communications Coordinator ActionAid Kenya.