Twenty years ago the Earth Summit (Rio 92) was held in Rio de janerio a city in Brazil. I was still in my infancy then, the aim of the summit was to forward and promote the idea of sustainable development keeping in mind the rising instances of global warming and climate change. The summit I am sure meant to create a good future of us who were kids then. But twenty years later less has been accomplished especially here in Kenya.
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The issues that the Rio summit aimed to address included:
• Systematic scrutiny of patterns of production- Particularly the production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including radioactive chemicals.
• Alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels which are linked to global climate change.
• New reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog.
• The growing scarcity of water.
Looking at the above Kenya and Africa as a whole has managed to accomplish less if not none of the issues that were meant to be addressed.
Let us forward 20 years later, another major summit is here with us the Rio +20, as we look at what we have achieved in the last twenty years we are faced with new problems and issues that need to be addressed so as to enhance sustainability in our development and help restore our environment for the benefit and sustainace of the current and future generation. The #RioPlustwenty has several key themes that will drive the discussions come June 20th 2012. Away from Rio I would like to see where Kenya as a country lies in regard to these themes and how we can help streamline the future in regard to these themes. Let’s go right in
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This, I could write a full paper on it not because of its availability but its scarcity. Kenya is turning into a jobless state thanks to increase in the number of universities we are churning out graduates who I don’t know where they will go to after graduation. The growth of our education sector does not match the growth in the job sector. Agriculture being the backbone of our economy we need to ensure we invest sufficiently into it so as to ensure we get to meet our food security and help create more valuable jobs in that sector.
We can’t deny the fact that Kenya as a country we are food insecure. Despite having the resource (land) to be able to feed ourselves and other countries, we still lag behind due to the fact that we have reduced the money we put into agriculture from the national budget. Farmers are a dejected lot they have been left at the mercy of the middlemen who milk all their profit as the government watches.
As we embark to achieve the vision 2030 we need to ensure that we get our food situation in order and ensure that we rely less on importation of food.
Water is life period. Here we need to ensure that we invest more money in terms of storm water management , I believe on matters pertaining to lack of water it lies on the supply and distribution, we are unable to put up the necessary infrastructure required to ensure supply of water to the majority of our population. We also need to construct multipurpose dams that will help in electricity generation and also supply of clean water.
Cities are the future. They offer new innovations, markets and help countries realize high growth rates and economic growth due to their ability to attract investments and help in wealth generation. Africa more so Kenya is urbanizing at rates that is causing policy makers’ sleepless nights we have a situation that we have few resources and a population that is forever bulging. We need to ensure we help in creating cities of the future that will offer all the people a good form of life and sustainable for that matter.
Energy-wise I believe Kenya as a country we are headed somewhere thanks to the immense potential of clean energy at our disposal we have solar energy to eternity and massive reserves of geothermal capable of producing about 10000MW of power against the current demand of around 2000MW.With the African electricity pool taking shape we should not fear investing in production of more power as we will be able to export to our neighbours. Against a backdrop of the recent oil fund we need to remain steadfast and not relent as a country to pursue green and sustainable forms of energy that brings less damage to the environment.
Disaster is like death to Kenya we haven’t really figured out how we will steer of poor disaster preparedness. Every now and then we have a disaster it is like we are experiencing it for the first time talk of slow response and lack of adequate manpower and equipments. Our disaster preparedness is wanting. We need to be always ready in the face of disaster.
There was some news recently of how Mombasa Island will be covered with water come the year 20… (I don’t want to be an alarmist) but we need to realize the levels of the sea the world over is rising fast. Let’s save the planet for the sake of islands like Maldives and others who face an apocalyptic end thanks to the rising sea levels.

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