By Kipngeno Benard
Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth’s temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests and farming activities.
This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Climate change in Kenya and across the world has led to more frequent droughts. This has human-wildlife conflicts as lions and elephants are forced to wonder into human settlements in search of water and food.
This has led in destruction of crops, death and maiming of livestock and people adjacent to national parks.
Climate change is affecting the traditional way of life too, especially for nomadic tribes in Kenya like the Samburu and Turkana who keep livestock as a source of income.
During the dry season they take the animals away from their homestead in search of fresh pasture. Climate change has caused the dry season to begin earlier and extend longer than usual, meaning these pastoralists are forced to move further away from their homes for longer periods of time.
If climate change endangers wildlife it could damage Kenya’s tourist industry, since wildlife safaris are a major part of country’s appeal for many tourists.
Reduced yields of staple crops, such as maize and beans as a result of increase in temperature will damage the local economy and this could force many people into starvation as it is experienced at the moment in the North Eastern part of the country.
The rate at which climate change is affecting all living things globally is alarming and action needs to be taken to reduce such impact through Limiting the use of fossil fuels such as oil, carbon and natural gas and replacing them with renewable and cleaner sources of energy, all while increasing energy efficiency and also encouraging people to plant more trees while discouraging deforestation.
(The writer is a student at Rongo University)