Innovation meets plastic: How Kevin Mureithi is curbing plastic waste in Kenya with Eco Blocks & Tiles

The world is experiencing the severe impacts of climate change, nature loss, and pollution as a result of plastic production and pollution.

Plastic waste, aside from the potential to contaminate agricultural land, is clogging up the ocean waters and is damaging fishing stocks.

Globally, we currently produce about 250 million metric tons of plastic waste yearly. Already, some 11 million tonnes of plastic waste flow into oceans annually (with projections that it may triple by 2040) and this pollution is reportedly affecting over 800 marine and coastal species through ingestion, entanglement, and other dangers.

Research and events have established that exposure to plastics can harm human health, and potentially affect fertility, hormonal, metabolic, and neurological activity.

The chemicals used in the production of plastic are toxic and detrimental to the human body. What’s more, the open burning of plastics contributes to air pollution.

According to statistics from UNEP, plastic production drastically increased from 2 million tonnes in 1950 to 348 million tonnes in 2017, making it a global industry valued at US$522.6 billion. This trend persists and doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon as the industry is expected to double in capacity by 2040.

The good thing is that entrepreneurs and innovators are finding local solutions to the planet’s plastic problem. Their companies are just some of the thousands throughout Africa that are making an impact and making strides toward developing sustainable business models for plastic recycling on varying scales.

These enterprises are often informal businesses without proper licenses, small-scale, making a small profit with cheap yet robust machinery and importantly creating jobs for many people in their communities.

One of such entrepreneurs is Kevin Mureithi, the Founder of Eco Blocks & Tiles, a company that has pioneered the manufacture of eco-friendly building materials such as roofing tiles made from recycled plastics and sand in Kenya.

Kevin Mureithi is the proud owner of a production location where 15,000 roofing tiles are produced per month and 20 young people have a job.

He holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and Technology from IHE Delft (Netherlands), and prior to setting up Eco Blocks & Tiles, founded and worked for a community-based organization in Nakuru County known as Trace Kenya Group.

As an experienced recycling expert and passionate environmental entrepreneur who leans more towards the circular economy sector, Kevin founded Eco Blocks & Tiles to reduce the impacts of waste pollution in the environment while supplying home builders with unique premium construction materials.

For Kevin Mureithi and his team, the mission is simply to: supply home builders with premium building products that make their houses stylish and unique, and to also reduce environmental pollution caused by plastic and glass waste by recycling these into distinct building materials that are aesthetically appealing, longer-lasting and affordable.

Eco tiles, which is one of the products, is a composite roofing material made from recycled plastic and sand, which makes it unique.

According to Kevin, the decision to make the product was to provide affordable and durable traditional options, like Eco tiles, that offer cost savings of up to 40% because they are light replacing the need to use expensive reinforced timber – a better option than the expanding import-ridden local market that is saturated with a lot of expensive imports like stone-coated roofing tiles and shingles from Europe and Asia.

In addition to reduced cost, the product is much quicker to install and does not easily break, thereby eliminating the need for clients to pay for unnecessary breakages during transportation and roofing.

Indeed, Kevin Mureithi, through Eco tiles, is filling a market need and ensuring environmental sustainability. However, making the business successful, hasn’t been a smooth ride for him despite the conversations about plastic pollution and the need for sustainable living.

According to him, consumer awareness was highly underestimated based on the above premise. He thought all that he needed was a great product and everything would fly off the shelf, after all, the world was concerned about plastic pollution. But that didn’t seem to be the case.

In fact, branding the product as a green product did not make the impact he thought it would as there was still a low acceptance level of green products in developing countries as opposed to the western world. But he is not giving up.

So far, what has helped him has been word of mouth and testimonials from existing clients which is a good business strategy even though takes a long time to close new clients but he believes that, with time, the business will succeed in crafting its own niche market.

He is, however, in talks with the Kenyan government and even the private sector about pollution and climate change and he believes that this could lead to the endorsement of the use of these eco-friendly products and will engineer that shift for people to embrace them in the next few years to come.

When that happens, Kevin Mureithi believes the business will definitely outperform many current building products in the market.

Woman on a mission: Wada Kealotswe transforms newspapers to pencils to save the planet

Climate change is a burning issue around the world, dominating conversations as individuals and governments seek ways to mitigate its devasting effects on the planet.

Among the ways to mitigate climate change effects that the world is currently driving is the curbing of human-driven and natural loss of trees, also known as deforestation.

In terms of climate change, when trees are cut down, there will be lesser trees that would ordinarily help sequester carbon dioxide which is one of the major contributors to climate change. Also, the carbon that the trees have captured is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, further causing harm.

This is how deforestation and forest degradation contribute to global warming. In fact, forest loss and damage are the cause of about 10% of global warming.

This indicates the need to end deforestation in order to combat climate change and the good thing is that people are beginning to adopt alternate solutions to products that require trees as resources for production.

One of such people is Wada Kealotswe, an innovator from Botswana who recycles newspapers into eco-friendly pencils.

Wada Kealotswe started her pencil brand, Eco Zera Pencils, after participating in the 2019 Youth Conference in Washington DC.

Before starting the boot-strapped Eco Zera Pencils, she had pitched her newspaper recycling project with the World Bank City Resilience Program in 2019. Although the project didn’t make the finals of the program, she was inspired to continue with it, and that led to the founding of Eco Zera Pencils.

According to Kealotswe, since she started her business two years ago in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital city, Eco Zera Pencils has manufactured about 40,000 pencils and sold about 39,000, while processing more than 8,000 newspapers.

That, to Kealotswe, is a significant contribution to the climate change fight in the cities as she has saved thousands of trees from being chopped down through her project. Her focus is also on raising awareness of environmentally friendly products and she hopes that through that, tree cutting will be reduced.

Kealotswe combines newspapers as well as graphite and other materials needed in the pencil manufacturing process, to produce the pencils.

With only 20% machine use and 80% manual effort (by hand), the manufacturing process takes a unique layer of stages:

Firstly, newspapers (which are sourced from offices and individuals) are cut to the size of the graphite with the help of a machine (sourced from China) then paper glue is used to secure the graphite.

After that is done, a machine rolls the rest of the paper to make pencil rods secured by resin glue, which are then dried in the sun for about 4 hours before using an electric oven which hardens them to have similar qualities in common with wood. The rod is then cut at the two ends to give it shape before being filed for a smooth feel.

At the final stage, an eraser is attached to the pencil after which it is packaged in a branded box of 12.

Kealotswe’s efforts through Eco Zera Pencils have earned her the SEED Climate Adaption Award 2021, for managing waste.

Sterling Bank’s clean up exercises in Nigeria: Acts worthy of emulation by corporates

Pollution is becoming an increasing concern in the world today as it has a significant negative effect on the planet and living species.

Particularly of concern is the indiscriminate disposal of waste, one of the leading types of pollution that are not only harmful to human health but also to aquatic life. It is estimated that the world generates over two billion metric tonnes of municipal solid waste and reusable items annually.

Organizations are assuming a sense of urgency to rid communities of waste and promote a culture of recycling to protect the planet.

One of such organizations is Sterling Bank Plc which recently carried out environmental cleaning exercises in 23 states simultaneously, across Nigeria – Lagos, Ogun, Anambra, Oyo, Osun, Jigawa, Kwara, Ondo, Ekiti, Imo, Rivers, Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Delta, Edo, Abia, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, and Katsina.

This is part of the bank’s commitment to creating a cleaner and safer environment for the citizenry and aquatic life under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative known as Sterling Bank Environmental Makeover (STEM).

The cleaning up exercises were carried out in markets, roads and beaches to commemorate the World Recycling Day, a day celebrated across the globe every year on March 18th, with this year’s theme being Recycling Fraternity – which is a reference to people who put themselves on the frontline to collect waste and engage in recycling during the multiple lockdowns as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sterling Bank Plc cleaning exercise had more than 1,000 participants including staff of Sterling Bank and volunteers.

In Lagos, it was executed in partnership with Rite Foods, First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company, Bonnie Bio, the Oniru Kingdom, Sterling One Foundation, African Clean Up Initiative, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA).

Speaking at the beach cleaning exercise at Oniru Beach, Lagos, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director and CEO of Sterling Bank, who was ably represented by Mr. Tunde Adeola, Executive Director of Commercial and Institutional Banking at Sterling Bank, said the bank embarked on cleaning exercises in 21 states out of the 24 states it is partnering with across the country.

He remarked, “We have been on this journey for more than 10 years. Every time, this happens, we have a cleaner and healthier environment.”

He further said that Sterling Bank is well positioned to execute these exercises, adding that in the last two years, the bank has received recognition and awards for the initiative. According to him, Sterling Bank is also at the forefront of tourism in Lagos State.

Also speaking, Commissioner for Ministry of Tourism in Lagos State, Mrs. Uzamat Yussuf said, “We are aware that Lagos is a place of aquatic splendour.”

“If we have water that is not well protected and sustained, it is better we don’t have any of it at all and that is why it is important for us to sensitise the citizens of Lagos on the proper way to dispose of wastes properly.”

“When we do not dispose of wastes properly, it becomes an issue for ourselves and the state at large because when the rain starts and all our drainages are blocked, then we continue to experience flooding. In developed countries, they sell their beaches to tourists and make huge money as well as increase level of employment for their people.”

She stressed the need for the citizenry to clean the beaches in a bid to encourage tourists to come and see what the state can offer, adding that the purpose of tourism is to create wealth; which ultimately will increase the GDP of the country. The commissioner also appealed to all to continue to manage and dispose of wastes properly to protect the environment.

Speaking on the bank’s mission, Mrs. Mojisola Bakare, General Manager, Corporate and Investment Banking with Sterling Bank said, “Sterling Bank is about impactful banking”. She further added that for that reason, there is no way they will live on this earth without impacting the environment as demonstrated with the exercise and Sterling’s HEART initiative which stands for Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation.

She also said the head office in Marina, Lagos, is being fitted with solar panels and will soon be sustainably powered by the sun.

Mrs. Bakare stressed the need for us to take responsibility for our actions on the environment and preserve its beauty to boost the local economy and attract foreign tourists, and by extension, foreign exchange into the country.

In Abia state, the Commissioner of Transport, Mr. Godswill Uwanoruo, commended the management and staff of Sterling Bank for the cleaning exercise which started in the state in 2015.

He said, “I started this programme with them in 2015 when I introduced the bank’s team led by the incumbent CEO, Mr. Suleiman, who was the then Executive Director of Finance to the governor of the state, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.”

“I am happy that they continued the programme by making sure that Abia State is clean,” Uwanoruo said.

He advised other banks in the country to emulate the good gesture of Sterling Bank because it is not an easy thing for members of staff of a company to leave their offices and go out to clean markets and roads. The commissioner also advocated that the exercise be done monthly or quarterly instead of annually.

Similarly, the Commissioner of Environment in Bayelsa State, Mr. Iselema Gbaranbiri, who graced the STEM event in the state noted that “The state government is here with Sterling Bank to show the world that they are synergising and keeping Bayelsa clean.”

Also, Honourable Muktar Baloni, Chairman of the Kaduna North Local Government Area Council, said he was impressed by the level of consistency in Sterling Bank’s environmental cleaning exercise and would want to emulate the bank by directing officials in the local government to replicate what the bank is doing in the local government.

Corporates have a key role to play to reduce waste pollution as many of their activities cause pollution. This means they play a double role as contributors and solution-providers which makes them important in the mitigation of waste pollution.

Sterling Bank is setting an example that is worth emulating and we hope the private sector in collaboration with the public sector can strategize to reduce waste pollution.

11-year old Ellyanne Chlystun-Githae is saving the world, one tree at a time

Hello readers. Welcome to #Women4theClimate on CleanbuildVoices!

It’s another Wednesday and we’re excited for you to meet our crush of the day. We’ve got an interesting twist for today’s edition.

Our crush is 11-year old Ellyanne Chlystun-Githae who is an environmentalist and Africa’s Youngest Climate Change Ambassador in Kenya.

She is the founder of Children With Nature, going to schools to educate students on climate change, deforestation, plastic pollution, and the blue ocean economy.

Ellyanne’s interest in tree-planting was greatly piqued in 2015 at the young age of 4 after doing a project in Kindergarten on World Heroes which included Martin Luther King Jr, Wangari Maathai, Barack Obama, Henry Wanyoike among others.

She particularly became interested in Wangari Maathai (founder of The Green Belt Movement and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize) who, according to her, believed in one of the most important things in the world – tree planting.

To Ellyanne, projects like infrastructure development that causes the mass cutting of trees should be discouraged, and alternative measures like replanting times more trees cut.

As her way of contributing towards mitigating deforestation, she has set up nurseries in over 70 schools, planted over 300 trees so far and thousands more trees in group activities, targeting to plant hundreds more with students from various schools in Kenya.

Since January 2018, Ellyanne has taken students, especially from slum schools, to visit the United Nations Environment headquarters and World Agro-Forestry for exposure and to learn the science behind trees. She started a tree seedlings project in schools targeting to grow about 400,000 tree seedlings which will be used for tree planting exercises.

In 2017 she was invited to the United Nations General Assembly as the youngest delegate where she learned more about climate change and met leaders, ambassadors, and directors from all over the world. She was also invited by UNEP Nairobi in 2017 for the celebrations of World Environment Day.

In 2018 she was nominated Kenya’s Youngest Mashujaa (Hero), an honor by the Government of Kenya. She was also nominated to be an ambassador for Kenya Climate Change, and Art & Essay Competition, a project by UNDP, USAID & Ministry of Environment.

She visited schools creating awareness and did campaigns using social media to reach more students and was awarded for it.

After attending United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA4) in 2019, the #GreeningKenya launch, as well as many other high-level meetings, Ellyanne realized there was a greater need to reach out to business and environment leaders in order to ensure their commitment to setting the right policies for nature and the climate change agenda.

For that reason, she started interviewing them to challenge them on their commitment to nature.

She has produced poems and music to create awareness of plastic pollution and the environment. She has also interviewed dignitaries in the quest to create awareness of climate change.

Watch this space as we’ll be back for another edition of our #Women4theClimate.

Thandile Chinyavanhu and Awa Traoré: Two women driving the climate conversation

Hello readers. Welcome to #Women4theClimate on CleanbuildVoices!

It’s another Wednesday and you know what that means. You guessed right! Another interesting reveal of our Woman Crush of the day.

For this week, we have two women crushes and they are none other than Thandile Chinyavanhu and Awa Traoré.

Thandile Chinyavanhu

Thandile

Thandile Chinyavanhu is an environmental and social activist based in South Africa.

She works as a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Africa and is part of the Quote This Woman+ database of experts that work towards ensuring gender diversity in the media and beyond, by curating a database of voices like hers for journalists to use when they need an expert opinion.

She writes about public health, energy access, climate mitigation, and the intersectionality of climate change, particularly its impacts on women of color.

She helps guide development in a sustainable manner by influencing and aiding SMEs in taking into consideration matters of compliance, the environment, and the possible externalities their activities have on climate change, health, and natural resources.

She aims for a future where urban spaces are designed to provide the public with living spaces that are conducive to health, where their well-being is not threatened by looming natural disasters and resources such as potable water, waste management systems, reliable transport systems, and attractive spaces are accessible.

Awa Traoré

awa

Awa Traoré is a Senegalese climate and social justice advocate. She is an Oceans, Plastics and Biodiversity Campaigner at Greenpeace Africa, and leads Greenpeace International’s Racial Justice Global Project.

She is also the National Assembly and Chairman of the Parliamentary Network for the Environment in Senegal (REPES), and the winner of the 2021 Green Awards ‘Most Influential Young Women’ Prize.

Awa Traoré is very vocal about the struggles for climate, economic, gender, and racial justice – and how they all connect and intersect.

She believes the focus should be on the causes of the environmental crisis and shifting the historic responsibility towards global south countries.

According to her, there needs to be a fight with a joint agenda that will do good to the environment and keep justice and humanity at the center of the struggles to overcome the climate emergency.

Watch this space as we’ll be back for another edition of our #Women4theClimate.

Man on a mission: Olanrewaju Tejuoso is transforming waste into art

The rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere are resulting in a rapidly changing climate and some of these emissions can be traced directly to our solid waste.

As solid waste finds its way into landfills, methane emanates from the decaying waste. That, coupled with the emission of nitrous oxide from solid waste combustion facilities, contributes directly to greenhouse gas emissions.

Because both methane and nitrous oxide have high global warming potentials, with methane having 21 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide having 310 times the warming potential, they cause the atmosphere to warm up faster.

For a continent like Africa that is confronted with ineffective solid waste management because it lacks the resources needed to process the growing amount of solid waste, the situation is only expected to worsen.

According to a World Bank report, sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions for waste generation and this is expected to triple by 2050. Little wonder nearly 20 of the world’s 50 biggest dumpsites are located on the continent, according to Waste Atlas.

To raise awareness on these climatic and environmental issues in Africa, artists, writers, dramatists, visual artists, and other creative people on the continent have particularly leveraged their media. One of such people is Olanrewaju Tejuoso.

Olanrewaju Tejuoso is fast becoming recognized as a unique voice within the crop of young Nigerian artists whose art speaks directly to environmental and climatic issues. His work processes, sculpture forms, and choice of materials all have one thing in mind – the environment.

Olanrewaju works with materials from his immediate environment — discarded empty sachets of ‘pure water’, wood, biscuit wraps, threads, empty bags of processed foods, polythene and foils — and employs basic processes of tying, folding, stitching, gluing, etc., to creatively call attention to the environmental impact that human activities are having on the earth’s ecosystem.

restoration by lanrewaju tejuoso

He believes his current creative exploration is a spiritual assignment which he called “From Waste to Life”, as his creativity enables him to raise useful discourses on the issue at hand.

Olanrewaju has exhibited both locally and internationally and has facilitated art workshops for children across Nigeria.

He exhibits his art at his Aroko Green Museum which is an abandoned building that belongs to the government.

Beyond art, Olanrewaju is also concerned about abandoned buildings and people as he lets homeless people stay with him in the building.

#Women4theClimate: Jiata Ekele is leading climate activism in Nigeria

Hello, readers. Trust you’re having a great day.

Welcome to #Women4theClimate on CleanbuildVoices!

It is another Wednesday and for today’s Woman Crush Wednesday (WCW) special, we’ll shine the spotlight on an amazing woman who is actively working in the climate space to effect a change.

She is none other than Jiata Ekele who is part of the climate justice movement in Nigeria and by extension, Africa and the world.

Owing to the fact that women and children are disproportionately affected by climate change, it is not surprising that more women are now speaking up and calling for actions to mitigate its effects.

Like these women, Jiata has taken a stance to fight against climate change and support efforts to ensure a safer planet.

Jiata Ekele is passionate about climate change, the SDGs especially food security, and imparting excellent knowledge to the younger generation.

Her desire to combat climate change is what motivates her to participate in, and support environmental campaigns and activities geared towards sustainability and climate justice in Nigeria.

She leverages her academic knowledge in her quest for environmental advocacy, believing that prioritizing the ecosystem over personal and corporate gains is the only way to address the climate catastrophe.

Jiata Ekele holds a first-class Bachelor’s degree in Plant Science and Biotechnology from Kogi State University, Nigeria, and has over a year of experience in climate/environmental advocacy as well as digital activism.

She is currently the Knowledge Management and Extension Assistant at the Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet).

Jiata also works as a Research Assistant at Akanu-Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana, Ebonyi State, Nigeria and volunteers as Secretary to The Editorial Committee in the Environmental CDS Group under the NYSC scheme.

She is part of The Online Executive Training – Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation organized by Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens in collaboration with Care Climate Resilience Academy, Diplomatische Akademie, The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), and Norad.

Jiata Ekele volunteers with the Nigeria chapter of Commonwealth Youth Climate change Network (CYCN), and the Nigerian Red Cross Society as a certified First Aider. She has also interned with Kaduna State Environmental Protection Authority (KEPA).

jiataekele

She was one of the guest speakers at Climateaction.africa’s Climate Conversations for Africa bi-weekly Twitter Spaces event where she spoke extensively on deepening climate change awareness and activism in youths and made key contributions and recommendations.

As a result of her dedicated activism, Jiata Ekele has meritorious achievements, awards, and numerous certifications to her credit.

Watch this space as we’ll be back to feature another amazing woman for our next edition of #Women4theClimate.


Featured Image: Jiata Ekele, a Nigerian environmental activist

#Women4theClimate: Meet Phillipah Bonareri, an environmental activist

Hello readers,

Welcome to #Women4theClimate on CleanbuildVoices!

It is another Wednesday; a time for us to shine the spotlight on women who are using their skills, voices, and resources to advocate for our climate as well as communities that are at the receiving end of the change.

On that note, our crush for today is the amazing Phillipah Bonareri who is actively working in the climate activism space to effect a change.

Phillipah Bonareri a seasoned Economist, Environmental Activist, and the Founder of Carbonreportafrica.com where she also doubles as Content Creator.

Carbonreportafrica.com is a Nairobi-based NGO comprising a global movement of young Africans that are involved in the climate ecosystem. It is committed to clarity in climate change and dedicated to consistently improving advanced scientific evidence-based knowledge in climate change, climate change mitigation, and prevention policies and practices.

Phillipah Bonareri is committed to ensuring that all Africans are informed on matters related to climate change. Little wonder she is also passionate about teaching the next African generation about these issues as they come up the school system.

Through Carbonreportafrica.com, Phillipah Bonareri informs Africans about climate change and its related issues, encourages conversations bordering on climate solutions for the effects of climate change and advocacy for vulnerable communities, and gives people on the continent a platform to write on climate change issues affecting them and their communities.

Watch this space as we’ll be back to feature another amazing woman for our next edition of #Women4theClimate.


Featured Image: Phillipah Bonareri, a Kenyan environmental activist

Women in Science: Spotlighting 9 African women in climate research

In science-related disciplines, professions, and discussions, women have been, more often than not, discriminated against and heavily underrepresented.

According to recent data from UNESCO, only 28% of researchers employed in research and development (R&D) globally are women and this level differs across regions.

This persisting gender inequality in science often hinders women from achieving their potential and effectively contributing to solving challenges.

As the world battles with climate change and its resultant effects (extreme weather events in form of drought, flooding, extreme heat, and tropical cyclones), the role of women scientists cannot be swept under the carpet.

This is because women have made, and continue to make major contributions to climate change research (making significant contributions to major scientific assessments) and wider analysis of global environmental issues.

However, in the little percentage of women in science, African women still remain underrepresented.

For that reason, to promote women’s participation and leadership in science, we’ll be spotlighting 15 amazing African women in science who have made and are making a significant impact in Africa’s climate science sector through research.

Aïda Diongue-Niang

Aïda Diongue-Niang is Adviser, National Agency for Civil Aviation and Meteorology, Senegal.

She has more than 20 years of experience in interacting with a wide range of stakeholders at all levels and has expertise in numerical weather prediction, atmospheric physics, climate, monsoon, and extreme events.

She is a lead author of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report Working Group I.

Mary Scholes

Mary Scholes is a Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

She studies plant physiology and biology, especially nutrient cycling, sustainable agroforestry, and soil biology.

She has served on several international global change committees, and she is a fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.

Ibidun Adelekan

Ibidun Adelekan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Her research focuses on climate-society interactions, human dimensions of global environmental change, vulnerability, and resilience of human-environment systems to climate change.

She is a lead author of the IPCC AR6 and a contributing author to the IPCC AR5 – Africa Chapter.

Grace Ngaruiya

Grace Ngaruiya is Head of the Ecology and Conservation Biology Section and a Lecturer in the Department of Plant Sciences at Kenyatta University, Kenya.

Her research is focused on the relationship between climate change and Africa’s heritage.

She is also an IPCC AR6 lead author.

Fatima Driouech

Fatima Driouech is an Associate Professor and the Executive Coordinator of the Adaptation Metrics and Techniques Cluster at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco.

Her research interests include climate variability, regional climate modeling, and climate science.

Previously, she was the Head of the Meteorological Research Center of the Moroccan Meteorology and the National Climate Centre. She was also Vice-Chair of Working Group I of the IPCC and she was lead author of the fifth IPCC report.

For the recent IPCC AR6, she serves as a review editor.

Nana Ama Browne Klutse

Nana Ama Browne Klutse is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Physics, University of Ghana.

Her research focuses on understanding climate dynamics and variability from observations, mainly of West Africa and the African Monsoon.

Previously she worked at the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission as a senior research scientist.

She currently serves as a lead author of the IPCC AR6.

Isabelle Niang

Isabelle Niang was a Professor at the University of Chiekh Anta Diop in Dakar.

She was an expert in coastal erosion and climate change; coordinating lead author of the chapters on ‘Afrique du Groupe de travail II’ for IPCC, in the 4th and 5th reports.

Since 2008, she had been coordinating regional project ACCC (Adaptation au Changements Climatiques et Côtiers en Afrique de l’Ouest) and is based in BREDA/UNESCO.

She was also Chair of the Pan-African Regional Committee for START (PACOM) through the Pan-African START Secretariat (PASS) based at the Institute for Resource Assessment (IRA) of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Sasha Naidoo

Sasha Naidoo is a Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa.

Her expertise lies in forest, wood anatomy, silviculture, wood science, climate change, and environmental science.

She is a lead author of the IPCC AR6 report.

Elham Ali

Elham Ali is a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Suez, Egypt where she is the head of the Department of Aquatic Environment Sciences and Director of Suez University International Relations Office.

Her expertise includes aquatic ecology, marine biodiversity, coastal ecology, and water quality assessment and monitoring.

She is the lead author of the IPCC AR6 and the coordinating lead author of the Mediterranean cross chapter.

 

Source: Wikipedia

#Women4theClimate: Meet Akello Immaculate, a climate change activist with a difference

Hello readers,

Welcome to #Women4theClimate on CleanbuildVoices!

Today on #Women4theclimate, we are bringing to the center stage Immaculate Akello, a lawyer, climate change activist, and social entrepreneur whose work is transforming the lives of rural women in northern Uganda living along the shea belt community.

She is the founder of Generation Engage Network which is a youth-led organization that champions environmental rights and environmental democracy in Northern and Central Uganda. The organization believes in the youth helping each other to become the best possible version of themselves.

Akello believes that climate change is not only an urgent issue but a generational problem and that rural women are one of the most affected groups by climate change.

According to her, for people to address the gendered impact of climate change, they need to establish forests that will provide sustainable firewood to rural women and encourage families to plant more fruit-bearing trees, and encourage them to find a market for those fruits.

She is not only passionate about serving or leading; she lives an exemplary life through her speech, conduct and deeds. Hard work and service above self are her trademarks, and this was clearly demonstrated when she successfully organized community dialogues – #LetGirlsVote Club President – for the university community that she was in.

Akello draws her confidence and inspiration from Hawa Kimbugwe’s poetic skills and expressions – especially the phrase in one of her poems; “I am a strong woman and I don’t apologize for it.”

According to her, that phrase inspired her to freely express herself with confidence despite her petite frame. She continues to pay it forward by speaking on behalf of her peers, mentoring them to gain confidence.

She represented Uganda at the Vijjana Assembly in 2018 in Arusha and was the speaker of the 2018 National Parliamentary youth moot in Uganda.

She was one of the guest speakers at Climateaction.africa’s Climate Conversations for Africa bi-weekly Twitter Spaces event where she spoke extensively on climate change laws in Africa and made key recommendations to governments on the continent.

Watch this space as we’ll be back for another edition of our #Women4theClimate.

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