EA Dialogue Series
True, Huston. Got any ideas yourself?
My name is Beth Omae. I am 23 years of age and recently finished my degree in Environmental Science from Pwani University which is situated in Kilifi County. During my time in university I met a variety of people with diverse social circumstances. I was able to understand and socialize with these people as well as try to help improve their lives through several initiatives such as cassava planting using the young stems which gives several tubers compared to the traditional method where they used the main mature stem which bears one or two tubers. With this method the people were able to harvest more cassava than before; this was a sign of food security.
Another initiative was promoting education especially to the girl child. Education in Kilifi was and somehow is hampered with various challenges that are social, economic and cultural. Therefore we strived to restore and improve the academic performances in the area mainly through mentorship programmes, distribution of sanitary towels and campaign against traditions that hinder formal education.
Another initiative was climate sustainability. Apart from introduction of solar lanterns and briquettes it was necessary for the community to know the reason for the green technology. We therefore used to invite a number of local people to join us during the environmental day to plant trees and visit the famous Arabuko Sokoke forest for reforestation. This changed the people’s attitude towards the forest and they were able to embrace the idea of planting trees in their farms together with crops.
I was also a member of Environmental Club, Pwani University Climate Action Team (PWANIUNICAT) and the Promotion of Education for Empowerment and Prosperity (PEEP) in the University. My achievement in environment is participating in sustainable energy training by making briquettes which we could sell to the people as well as solar lanterns which are environmental friendly.
I like hiking with friends because it’s healthy and I also enjoy swimming. In university, I joined a ladies football club which happened to be a great learning experience. Many of the girls on the team were not being schooled, so it was an opportunity to learn about the challenges they face and provide them with guidance through my experience with PEEP.
-Researcher Attaché, Kenya Forestry Research Institute: conducting ecological surveys, socio-economic data collection, technical report writing, ecosystem assessment and rehabilitation.