Real Voices interview: Kevin Mududa
Meet Kevin, who gives a local perspective from Kenya on climate change and its implications for human health
What do you do?
I am an education consultant. I am also involved in charities working with young people.
How personally concerned are you about climate change?
I am deeply concerned about climate change and believe there is an urgent need to increase awareness. Concerted efforts are needed by people at all levels, from governments to individuals. I am involved with a group of young people who intend to establish a tree nursery as an income-generating activity and also to help save the environment.
What do you think will be the biggest impact globally?
The impact globally is already being felt. A clear indicator is the rising temperatures and erratic weather patterns we are witnessing. Recent catastrophic weather events such as heatwaves in America, Europe, the Arabian peninsula and India attest to this. The droughts in parts of Africa and Asia are another manifestation.
Cities like Beijing and Mexico City are already experiencing severe air pollution with serious health repercussions. There is also the real risk of more allergies and pandemics as viruses and vectors find the new environment conducive to rapid breeding and dissemination.
What do you think will be the biggest impact on human health locally?
Global warming is resulting in food and water scarcity. This change will lead to civil strife as already witnessed in some parts of Kenya and Africa where communities fight over water sources and pasture.
What do you think are the most important steps to take now?
All countries need to adopt the Kyoto Protocol and cut down greenhouse emissions. Additionally, all countries should develop environmental laws based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports and the Stern Report. Governments should increase funding for research on alternative energy resources, which would also create new green jobs.
Countries should reserve at least two days a year as national tree planting days, when all citizens plant two to three trees and then take care of them throughout the year. Governments should run public information campaigns to promote sustainable environmental practices.