Climate Bill Not Strong Enough to Stop Climate Chaos Affecting Most Vulnerable

Press Release

Justice and peace organisation, Afri, today called the government publication of the heads of a Climate Bill as deeply disappointing as it fails to meet key requirements for the effective tackling of climate change.

Afri is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition which has repeatedly called on the government to publish a strong bill which has legally binding emission reduction targets, five-year carbon budgets that meet up to these targets; carbon targets to be met domestically, without purchasing overseas carbon credits, and the establishment of an independent climate change commission to advise Government, with the power to publish its own reports. Continue reading “Climate Bill Not Strong Enough to Stop Climate Chaos Affecting Most Vulnerable”

Introduction to Abjata’s Blog

I am 34 years old award winning journalist and development worker born, brought up and based in dry patched remote northern region of Kenya. Am a development worker, community educator, mobiliser, community journalist, activist and advocate for social justice.

I am currently working with non- profit development organisation, KENYA PASTORALIST JOURNALIST NETWORK. But my activism and community work started way back when I was a young boy after witnessing human rights violation, armed attacks, brutality among others that gave me courage and determination in empowering my pastoralist community.

I undertake many activities and work in northern Kenya and among them are: Human rights Education and awareness campaigns, Human Rights Defenders work and program, Human rights profiling, reporting and monitoring, Conflict resolution and management through mediation and traditional mechanisms, Peace education through community radio and traditional media like folklore, traditional dance, oral narratives, storytelling, non -violence means and education, Women rights education and campaign, Women empowerment projects,
Women radio listening project, Gender equality, Climate change

education and adaptation, Climate change projects like tapping clean solar energy, community food security program, Using indigenous knowledge in addressing climate change , Climate justice project, Anti-human trafficking campaigns, Refugee rights, Eradication of small arms and light weapons ,Health rights and education, Fighting environmental crimes and organised groups like terrorist outfits and armed militias, Rehabilitation of ex-combatants ,civic education and undertaking anti-corruption campaigns and education. Apart from above mentioned activities, I am a member of various national and international networks.

I was born and brought up in a village called Wagalla in Wajir, Kenya. One incident that happened on 10th, February 1984, changed my life and built my resolve to create change, educate and empower my community and building their capacity to attain social justice.

On 10th February 1984, contingent of Kenya army invaded Wagalla village and flushed the residents out of their homes to an empty field where we were subjected to severe beatings, women and girls gang raped by the army in full watch of the besieged residents, we were surrounded in the open field without food / water and under scorching sun.

In the Wagalla field people started dying of hunger, dehydration and severe bleedings from bullets wounds and gun butt injuries. After some days under siege some victims broke the cordon and snatched guns from the security men surrounding us in the field. Other officers panicked and started spraying bullets to the people and it’s here they
killed many people. Others managed to escape including me, while others were walking and dropping dead while escaping due to bullet

wounds and bleeding. I was saved by a brave and daring Italian Nun late Analina Toneli, who was rescuing escaping victims, and offering them water and first aid. She was killed some years ago by forces that executed and ordered the Wagalla massacre.

The security forces collected the dead bodies and dumped them some 200 kilometres for hyenas to feed on them.

This violation and armed attacks from politically instigated conflicts, raids, security operations in our village moulded what I am today and what I do today.

I started asking myself what will you do to address your community sufferings and offer them dignified and normal life built on social justice. This made me to start active activism at age of 16 years and fighting for my community and seeking education under difficult conditions so that I can get knowledge to change.

Many other heinous acts perpetrated by armed militia like abduction of young girls to act as their comfort women in conflict zone, militia inserting gun butt and bottles in women victims private parts and gang raping devastated my upbringing as it was happening in my village and surrounding areas on daily basis.

All these atrocities, heinous acts, human rights violation, gang rape as tool of humiliation and embarrassment and the number of people killed in state sponsored massacres, armed conflicts, security operations and extra judicial killings made me to pursue journalism and use media in educating my people and give them platform of knowledge and information generation, sharing, dialogue and circulation and also I pursued development studies to initiate community developments, offer counselling and build my community capacity in fostering change and usher development.

Tapping Renewable Energy

Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network, a non-profit media organisation based in arid and remote northern Kenya region held one day training and distribution of solar lamps to pastoralist students from far flung Atheley Primary school in Garissa district of North Eastern Province. The training targeted 100 students from drought ravaged and disaster prone village of Atheley that hosts hundreds of climate and conflict displaced families.

Atheley village is located in remote arid region of northern Kenya that borders war-torn Somalia and Ethiopia and the area has no communication or transport infrastructure. Recurrent conflicts and prolonged droughts, high illiteracy level, disasters and humanitarian crisis affect general development of the village.

The village hosts hundreds of families displaced by climatic shocks like prolonged drought, famine, armed conflicts as result of resource competition, flash floods during rainy season, drying water wells and diminishing pastures for livestock, armed cattle rustling necessitated by forced pastoralist restocking, hostile weather in grazing areas that contributes to community displacements, disruption of livelihoods and local traditional barter trade system and closure of traditional markets. Continue reading “Tapping Renewable Energy”

Traditional Birth Attendants in Garissa, Kenya, now using Solar Lamps

Abjata Khalif, from Afri’s partner organisation, the Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network, writes about the introduction of solar powered lamps to assist in the work of midwives in Sankuri in Kenya.

Abjata Khalif (right) presents a solar powered lamp to a midwife in Sankuri, Garissa, Kenya.

Hasna Muktar, a traditional birth attendant in remote far flung Sankuri village in northern Kenya prepare her ‘’traditional delivery room’’ ready to offer deliveries services, behavioural change education and other consultation to pregnant women in the village.

Sankuri village is 300 kilometres from main Garissa town and the area has poor communication and transport network forcing residents to use donkey carts and camel to ferry patients to hospitals. The journey takes seven days to main Garissa town and most patients die on the way before receiving medical attention.

The mode of transport and duration it takes to main hospital is not favourable to women experiencing labour or are ready to deliver. The seven days journey is a recipe for obstructed delivery that causes fistula and mother and child death.

But Women in Sankuri have their set of rules and guided by cultural beliefs that traditional birth attendant has the prowess to offer good abdominal palpation , offering ‘’traditional ante natal care and safe delivery services without hassle of going to Garissa hospital and in hand of midwives serving many women at ago.

As the scorching sun set in the horizon, group of eight heavily pregnant women walks into Hasna expansive compound housing her ‘’delivery room’’, consultation room and traditional training room where she educate both pregnant and other women on behavioural change and family planning.

Her traditional facility is built with sticks and grass and the only source of water is from shallow well and no running electricity to light the facility that offered safe deliveries for last twenty five years. Continue reading “Traditional Birth Attendants in Garissa, Kenya, now using Solar Lamps”

Impressions from Hedge School 2011: Climate Change, Conflict and Famine

Saturday, 1 October 2011, Kimmage DSC, Dublin 12

Christine Nalubega

The 2011 Afri Hedge School took place in Kimmage Development Studies Centre (KDSC) in Dublin for the second year running.  You can watch a short film of the highlights from the day, made by Dave Donnellan, by clicking here!

Abjata Khalif

The theme was Climate Change and how this has impacted on developing countries resulting in famine and wars. Abjata Khalif, a pastoralist from Kenya, spoke about how climate change has affected pastoralists in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and in particular how the current famine in the Horn of Africa has caused great hardship for many, resulting in a surge in refugees and other social problems. Continue reading “Impressions from Hedge School 2011: Climate Change, Conflict and Famine”

Afri Hedge School 2011

The programme for the 2011 Afri Hedge School includes a talk by Kenyan Pastoralist, Abjata Khalif, on famine, climate and conflict in the Horn of Africa, followed by an examination of how we can tackle the problem of climate change in Ireland by climate scientist John Sweeney.

The 2011 Hedge School consists of a selection of workshops, hedge planting, and beautiful African music! The day promises a stimulating engagement with the issue of climate change in the world and especially how it impacts on developing countries. Lunch will also be provided.

When? Saturday 1st October 2011, 10am – 4pm

Where? Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Whitehall Road, Dublin 12.  For directions on how to get there, please click here.

How much? €10 (or €5 for students/unwaged)

You can download the brochure here to book on: Hedge School 2011