Kenya is a fast growing economy with the young professionals, entrepreneurs, young working class and urban populations living and working in the Capital City, Nairobi. According to http://www.indexmundi.com about 24% of the total population lives in urban areas with 4.36% annual rate of urbanization and with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 4.7% in 2013 (www.tradingeconmics.com).
Kenya is home to a rich diversity of wild flora and fauna and has been a party of CBD since 1994 with the government working with local and international organisations to ensure preservation of biodiversity.
Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth, its beauty and abundance, and the ecosystems in which they thrive and grow. Species of plants, animals, and microorganisms and various ecosystems in Kenya such as Chalbi desert, Kakamega rainforests, and coral reefs at Coast region are all part of our biologically diverse Planet. Threats ranging from habitat destruction and over-harvesting to pollution and climate change threaten these ecosystems and biodiversity decline impacts on food supplies, renewable resources, medicines and the overall sustainability of the planet.
Three quarters of the 3.375 million in Nairobi reside in informal settlements and or are living in houses and apartment blocks that have bypassed planning and building regulations. These areas have minimal bulk infrastructure and public services, such as waste collection and management, public transport, clean piped water, health facilities, recreation and other amenities.
Like any other African city, Nairobi is vulnerable to a variety of climate change impacts, ranging from gradual shifts in temperature, intense rainfall and groundwater salinity to changes in the severity of extreme events, such as fires and floods which are now becoming a common occurrence in Nairobi. Kibera, the second largest informal-settlement in Africa and largest in Kenya is Slum is already situated in a particularly high-risk location within the city, which is on the riverbanks of the Nairobi River. This area is a marginal land avoided by regulated property developers, and lack the requisite infrastructure and services to withstand the effects of climate change.
From the climate change impacts in different parts of the country, the working class in the urban areas is often affected. While the population in the rural areas will lose their crops and livelihoods from floods and droughts, both impacts of biodiversity changes, the urban population suffer impacts through increases in the prices of food, water, energy and transport reflected and amplified by climate change-related impacts in the rural areas. (Energy Regulatory Commission recently announced increase of electricity costs by two shillings per watt due to failed long rain season). Due to increased psychological stress these urban population a case of Nairobi is often characterized by declining social cohesion and insecurity further aggravating their general hardship and vulnerability.
Therefore, it should be a matter of great importance and concern to conserve our biodiversity through all means possible. A small change in climate has intense series of changes felt from industries to the farmer in the rural area. Working in the office with little interaction with nature does not alleviate us from the responsibility of conservation but should actually challenge us to implement more changes that will preserve the biodiversity that we have and not leave the responsibility to organisations involved or the government.
Every individual should support measures to protect life on Earth from threats.