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IBON partners in Kenya form Climate Justice Core Group composed of grassroots organizations in frontline communities

Posted on 9 July 2015

Climate Justice Core Group Formation Workshop Report

Background

The Climate Justice Core Group is a team of social justice activist on Climate Justice  (CJ) from 5 sites in Kenya namely: Migori, Mfangano Island, Cherangani, Malindi and Mathare in Nairobi. The movements represented by this core team include: Ragana Faith Women Group, Mfangano Island Paralegal Network, Sengwer Supreme Council of Elders, Malindi Rights Forum (MRF) and Bunge La Wamama Mashinani (BLW). The team acts as representatives of their various communities including dialogues on climate change at the local level in relation to the community struggles which include marine conservation, an urban informal setting, fisher folk, indigenous communities land struggles in the wake of climate change and female small scale farmers.

The roles of the Climate Justice Core group entail: Coordinating community learning processes and dialogues on Climate Justice (CJ); ensuring processes are developed on the Climate Justice (CJ) project, being sources of information in contextualizing community perspectives on Climate Justice; ensuring desired outputs and outcomes on Climate Justice are realized within their communities; organizing reflective sessions within their communities on climate related issues and strengthening consultations with  diverse stakeholders on Climate Justice.

Making connections on Climate Change within our Communities

During the Core group formation meeting, members identified and shared connections amongst themselves, their struggles and the planet as follows:

Malindi

Access to land, environmental pollution by saltcompanies, forced evictions

Mfangano Island

The depletion of fish stocks, migration of fish interferes with sources of livelihoods. Other struggles include poverty, idleness and water borne diseases brought about by consumption of untreated water from the Lake Victoria.

Migori

Land rights access for women including, reduced food production due to unpredictable rainfall, lower crop yields, disrupted livelihoods especially due migration of fish

Mathare

Environmental pollution by industries, congestion, social and political exclusion of communities

Cherangani (Embobut Forest)

Land rights for indigenous communities, eviction from ancestral land due to environmental conservationfalse-hoods

Connecting Climatic Struggles

The core group members further shared how their struggles were interconnect. The connections drawn were as follows:

Fisherfolk - Indigenous Communities (have a forest in Mfangano Island which is tourist attraction, evictions from Embobut Forest and the loss of livelihood is also felt by the fisherfolk when fish migrate to other areas due to polluting of the lake

Fisherfolk - urban communities – are impacted similarly through chemical wastes in sources of water

Women farmers - Fisherfolk: Are affected by reducing levels of water in rivers

Fisherfolk - Marine communities: Affected by toxic chemical wastes into rivers and the by companies leading to the death and destruction of breeding grounds for fish. Migration of fish to other areas leading to loss of incomes

Indigenous community - women farmers: Loss of forest is a loss of livelihood leading to lowered levels of rainfall. Indigenous communities report having lower crop yields and have to use fertilizers to boost their harvests

Marine communities - urban informal settlements: Toxic wastes from industries being dumped into rivers similar to dumping of toxic wastes from salt companies into rivers. Both communities suffer lack of steady supply of clean water

Global Region: