#UrbanBetter #Disruptor Nyamrinda Obam is a nature lover, environmentalist and climate justice activist from Kenya.
We asked him to tell us about how he got into climate justice activism and what motivates him.
I was born and raised in Siaya County in the western part of Kenya.
Growing up in a county neighbouring both the Budalangi and Nyando floodplains in Busia and Kisumu counties, respectively, I came face to face with the flooding conditions experienced in the area. This was a significant factor that drove me to develop an interest in environmental conservation. I tried to understand the cause of these events and solutions that could be offered and discovered that deforestation in the area is a significant problem as most households use wood fuel and charcoal for cooking and timber for housing developments. This led me to start tree planting activities in my home area and to educate the community on the importance of trees, a factor that thrust me into environmental advocacy.
After my high school studies, my love for nature, especially for aquatic systems, drove me to pursue an environmentally-related course at university (I got a Bachelor of Science in Applied Aquatic Sciences). As I understood more about nature through my studies, my interest in advocating for environmental conservation and climate action to help curb the effects of climate change strengthened, so I got myself into advocacy.
As an environmental advocate, I have been involved in several campaigns, some of which include:
*the “SaveCongoRainforest” campaign, which focuses on raising awareness about the conservation of the world’s second-largest rainforest, the Congo, which is currently under threat from human activities.
*the “SaveNairobiNationalPark” campaign that advocated for the protection of Nairobi National Park as a crucial wildlife habitat at a time when a railway line was being constructed through the park, and there were proposals to put up tourist hotels and swimming pools within the park.
*the “ActOnSahel” campaign, which focuses on raising awareness on the degradation of ecosystems in the Sahel region of Africa. As a way of promoting environmental education, I write articles and poems expounding on the need for environmental conservation. One of my articles,”Tree Planting Not Enough for Climate“, was featured in the Climact Magazine July 2020 issue, a Pakistani magazine powered by Climate Beacons Network.
I was also nominated by the Climate Change Africa Opportunities (CCAO) as a Green Ambassador for the climate in Africa in 2020.
Currently, I am working on the following projects in my quest for a better environment:
*A mentorship drive for school children on the importance of environmental conservation currently running at Ndarugu Primary School in Njoro with the aim of raising an environmentally conscious generation.
*Tree growing campaigns with these school children together with their parents and teachers as a way of involving the whole community.
*I also volunteer as the social media manager for The Eco-Mindset, an organisation that focuses on teaching the community about sustainable and healthier ways of living withoutt degrading natural resources.
*I have also recently founded a social media platform, Climate Powers, which aims at supporting and highlighting all efforts by nature lovers to protect and conserve this beautiful planet.
As a climate action advocate, I have faith that through environmental education and advocacy and as one people, we will be able to counter the effects of climate change and restore the integrity of our planet. Remember: ” IF CHAMPIONING FOR CLIMATE ACTION IS WRONG, THEN I WILL DO IT UNTIL IT BECOMES RIGHT.”