Project Officer, WINAM GRASSROOTS
“We are experiencing a phenomenon known as the urban island heat effect but by going green we can beat the heat.”
In line with SDG 13: Climate Action, Nelly and Winam Grassroots players initiated the Winam Green Campus, an exchange platform for young climate ambassadors who wish to make a meaningful impact in the city of Kisumu Kenya and its environs.
The young people go through a three-month informative training, an innovative peer learning session with experts in a bid to localise and act on climate action by leading, taking action and implementing green space ideas, knowledge sharing on ecological security. Winam Grassroots has reached out to a wide range of people in the city and communities in different parts of the city to run tree planting and cleanup activities. The objective is to strengthen the adaptive capacity of people to climate induced impacts such as increased heat and drought, improve environmental conditions, protect and improve biodiversity, promote outdoor activities and active lifestyles, increase social interactions and provide healthy urban conditions for physical and mental well-being.
Taking action by Green Campus Ambasadors from different parts of Kisumu city involves unique approaches to planning and project design based on their needs and community structure. One of the approaches used has been behaviour change communication, an interactive process engaging people from all parts of the city. This has helped adopt and create positive practices. By working with members from different parts of the city Winam Grassroots has been able to understand what ails in different areas and what lifestyle choices causes issues in order to device suitable behaviour change strategies. It has helped to encourage community ownership in projects but also to better understand and address the impact of climate change.
The Green spaces initiative aims at creating a means to an end, the end being creation of more green spaces within Kisumu city and later on in Kenya. The programme has built a set of competent climate ambassadors equipped with necessary knowledge who can effect change through deliberate actions, advocacy and active mobilization. This has helped initiate behaviour change in urban communities and enable them embrace the New Urban Agenda with deliberate bias towards greening of spaces that can boost mental and physical health as well as improve cooler temperatures and better air quality.