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OUR FORESTS ARE TOO PRECIOUS TO BE LOST, PATRICIA MUMBUA KOMBO, INSPIRATIONAL KENYAN ACTIVIST

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IRISTECH 19 MAR 2020

My name is Patricia Mumbua Kombo. I’m a finalist from Moi University awaiting my graduation in December this year with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies.

I grew up on the slopes of Kilisa forest in Makueni, Kenya. When I was in lower primary, mbooni was one of the places which were used as the epicenter of nature to any visitor for it was enriched with all sorts of Bioversity. There were lots of streams and everyone had the weather patterns at fingertips. We were introduced to farming in lower classes with what we called the 4k clubs which are now dead.

I witnessed as people destroyed the forest for charcoal burning and slowly weather patterns started becoming unpredictable. The worst famine hit us in march 2019 and what  I experienced opened my eyes and an inner conviction whispered to me, YOU WERE NOT MADE TO BE A JOURNALIST BUT AN ENVIRONMENTALIST. As a youth, I knew I was the solution to climate change.

Does it seem a logical background to what you do now?

Its a logical background for it is from watching my community experience effects of logging I thought of training the young ones on the importance of trees. Watching my fellow Kenyans and especially young ones suffer due to the effects of climate change made me be their voice and train them to act.

Out of my passion for Environmental conservation and having experienced worse climate crisis I founded Patree Initiative that works with schools to foster Environmental education through the creation of Environmental clubs and planting trees to help Kenya attain 10% forest cover from the current 7.4% which is below the desired cover by the United Nations .

What were your big wins in the last year?

My big wins in the last 12 months:

I Have donated and planted trees in 4 schools.

I held an environmental awareness and education in 5 schools where I donated Acacia Nalotica seed balls to the students with an aim of restoring the forest cover

Early Feb thus year I was among top 5 in blog4dev competition by World Bank Kenya.

I have been invited to attend the Africa climate week in Uganda

I was nominated by Kotex  Kenya for championing for the rights of women in Agriculture.

I have also been featured in the Daily Nation and have had some of my articles published in our local dailies.

What would you have done differently?

Coming up with as many tree nurseries as possible for I have faced a challenge in purchasing the seedlings which I donate to the pupils

What are you doing now?

I give environmental talks, educate pupils and donate trees where we plant together. I believe in grassroots participation and putting them at the center of implementation for unless they are involved in planting and taking care of the tree they will not know the value of a better environment. I am acting on climate change by planting trees

Why did you get involved in this project?

I was tired of climate talks and strikes without Action. Leaders from Kenya kept on promising we will and I felt it was getting late .I love trees and a want a livable world and a safe future, and when denied,  I felt it was our role as young people to rise up demand and act. I wanted to raise a generation that addresses issues and protects the vulnerable in society through taking care of the Environment

Why should climate change be the ultimate test for all candidates?

Just like they are required to submit their requirements, climate crisis and climate action plans should be submitted for climate change is a human rights issue because of its impact it’s having on people. The requirements should be guided by the Green agenda in the sustainable goals on climate action, life below water, clean energy and how to reduce carbon emissions.

The regulation ought to include the candidate’s measure to boost low-income communities facing the worst effects of the climate crisis.   This will make them responsible when formulating ideas and keep them on toes for it will be their main manifesto to accomplish in the given term.

My inspiration comes from the late Wangari Mathai. She fought for green spaces and through her story of the hummingbird I feel she was referring to me.

Why is climate change significant in attaining other UN SDGs?

No matter how much development we do, without climate change is in vain. Climate change has an impact on poverty for it disrupts the economy. It affects zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, life below water, life on land, sustainable cities and communities and at extreme levels they compromise health, education and gender equity.

Why are trees important?

We need trees and forests for its the only machine invented that can absorb excess carbon dioxide. Alone I can’t stop the use of fossil fuels, alone I cannot stop the use of plastics but ALONE I CAN PLANT A TREE FOR PROSPERITY LOVE AND PEACE.

More about Patricia here

My name is Patricia kombo.I’m a finalist from Moi University awaiting my graduation in December this year with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. Out of my passion for Environmental conservation and having experienced degenerating climate crisis I founded Patree Initiative that works with schools to foster Environmental education through the creation of Environmental clubs and planting trees to help Kenya attain 10% forest cover from the current 7.4% which is below the desired cover by the United Nations.

I have donated and planted trees in 7 schools, Utangwa and mwenyeani primary schools in Makueni county, mlolongo children’s home, Moi secondary school in kesses,Uasin Gishu county.  I I held an environmental awareness at kituluni primary school where we had 3 other schools and donated Acacia Nalotica seedballs. I have visited kabete vet lab primary school and St Joseph’s kabete where I also donated 300 seed balls.

I  believe climate mitigation is our responsibility. I  participated during last year’s Citi Global community Day in Ngong forest and joined trees for birthday in Gatina Primary school in Kawangware. I have also been featured in the Daily Nation and I was among the top 5 in blog4dev competition by World Bank Kenya.

PaTree Initiative endeavours to green Kenya, and create green spaces in institutions for pupils who grow in green spaces and around nature have fewer mental health issues.

As a climate justice promoter, I felt the government and our leaders were not acting and through the kids planting trees am certain that they will grow to be champions of climate change. Around 6 of sustainable development goals depend highly on climate change which is now defining our times, claiming lives and affecting the young people.

As a woman, we are vulnerable, and that’s why I chose to Act from last year when I was in the third year.I’m a daughter of a farmer, and all my education was catered through farming, but currently, it’s hard for my community to farm.weather patterns have changed making my village a semi-arid which is as a result of illegal logging.

The Goal and Objectives of Patree

Foster Environmental Education in primary schools  through the creation of Environmental and 4k clubs

Enable children  to participate in greening Makueni  by donating trees and training them on Reducing pollution, Recycling and Reusing for sustainable Environment.


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