Kenya: We Shouldn't Be So Focused On Covid We Neglect Environment

Lake Turkana. Also known as the Jade Sea, Lake Turkana is the most saline lake in East Africa and the largest desert lake in the world (file photo).
7 January 2021

In 2020, Covid-19 turned life on its head and affected almost all sectors of the economy.

While many governments have done a good job countering the pandemic, they seem to have relegated one vital sector to the back burner -- the environment.

We have heard about reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, reappearance of snow on mountain caps and abundance of fresh clean air in once highly polluted cities, but that is not enough.

The conversation should not stop there because there is a lot more to be done, especially in our homes, villages and estates.

Global warming is still a big concern as it continues to impact the global climatic patterns.

The weather has become erratic -- giving a hard time to meteorological departments across the world.

The unpredictable weather patterns are affecting key sectors of our economy, including agriculture, education and tourism.

Destroyed and polluted

As I write this, some schools in Baringo County are yet to reopen because they are under water.

People have been rendered jobless and property has been destroyed.

The country's food basket --the Rift Valley -- is no longer as productive as it used to be. Areas that enjoyed abundance of rainfall throughout the year are today dry, with millions starving.

Wildlife, on the other hand, continues to disappear as habitats-- forests, rivers, soil, air and lakes-- are destroyed and polluted.

A documentary by NTV recently showed how the rivers all over the country have been affected by poisonous chemicals from industries.

If we value our lives, we must do something to stop this mess. We all know that nature works in a way that we always get what we give to it.

God gave us Earth and all that is in it so that we can take care of it.

So, as the new year starts, we have the responsibility to take good care of our environment.

We should plant more trees, stop poaching, recycle non-biodegradable waste, reduce carbon emissions, and control waste -- and we will surely enjoy nature.

Oscar Namenge, 20, is a second-year student of Meteorology at the University of Nairobi.

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