The reality on the ground is that the challenge of climate change is here with us. Whether you understand it or not, the effects are affecting each of us. Talk of the erratic weather patterns, rising water levels and on the other hand massive floods all are signs that something is up.
Strange phenomena such as the occurrence of cyclones has since arrived in Africa as we have recently witnessed in Madagascar and Mozambique this year. The time to save mother earth is now! Am happy that this reality is coming to the fore as the world shifts attention to the Africa Climate Summit that kicks off in September in Nairobi, under the hosting of the Kenyan government led by Dr. William Ruto, the President.
As a player in the real estate sector, water is a key resource for the comfort of those living on our projects as well as for maintenance of the estates under the Optiven portfolio. Nairobi and other urban centers in Kenya depend on potable water most of which is rain fed – but let us be honest, when was the last time it rained properly? Properly in this case to facilitate the fill up of the reservoirs that serve the populace or the boreholes dug in the individual projects – the result, well you guessed it, rationing.
There is an imperative need for African Leaders to look to the future by planning and engaging robust, knowledgeable and dedicated leadership from the company level to the national level in sustainability planning and initiative roll outs. The question then becomes, what happens if Africa and Kenya in particular cannot industrialise as the world is calling for a de-carbonised future.
Kenya in particular must find a balance considering that only recently the country begun actively engaging it’s petroleum resources. The same applies on infrastructure build up where Kenya in particular has made tremendous investment in road and rail infrastructure – both costly and a climate hazard in terms of carbon emissions.
Kenya is hosting the Africa Climate Summit to usher in the Africa Climate week between the 4th and 6th of September 2023. As host, President Dr. Ruto said “Climate action is not a Global North issue or a Global South issue. It is our collective challenge, and it affects all of us. We need to come together to find common, global solutions.”
The solution then lies in reduction of pollution from the home to the cities where we reside. In the case of Optiven, we have taken the bull by the horns and in 2023, upscaled our engagement by ensuring more trees across our projects. The result has been more sustainable and livable communities. As such I advocate for green cities as a key ingredient in making the broth that will regulate climate change. As I have echoed the sentiments of sustainability champions globally, I say again, the time to save the planet is now.
Cities in low income nations face the highest impact of climate change especially on weather severity. 70% of greenhouse gases are generated in cities and only 0.2% has been contributed by African cities. Decarbonisation is removal or reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) output into the atmosphere by switching to usage of low carbon energy sources. Over 1,000,000,000 people are expected to settle in African cities by the year 2050
George Wachiuri is a leading Entrepreneur, a Published Author, Philanthropist, Youth Empowerment Enthusiast, a Family man and CEO of Optiven Group.