Halima Murunga, Director: Ages Group, Kenya
My name is Halima Murunga, I'm a Director at an organisation called Ages Group, and our job is to change Kenyans’ lifestyles to adopt green living. How do you bridge the gap between all the knowledge of what the researchers know, and how do you brand that to create a platform, brand it and package it in a way that your common guy on the street can understand what climate change is and understand it then adopt that green kind of a lifestyle? With Ages Group you find that we’re people who we love innovation and different ideas that we keep on generating, so you get people who are driven by interest towards the environment, who come from different disciplines, and you create an open space platform for them to come in and brainstorm on ideas and challenges that are out there, and actually design a project amongst themselves. Then Ages provides the infrastructural support to any organisation that now wants to take that project on to implement it. Within the next year, we’re creating a, it’s called an ecosystem certification for buildings, that encompasses everything from your carbon footprint to an energy usage to how do you manage your waste in terms of environment. In the next ten years, of course it’s always a work in progress but of course it’s now expanding throughout the whole of Africa and getting them to also adopt the same model that we've done for Kenya.
In 2020 I'd see myself as a, I'd say a realist, because I'm at the top of the chain in terms of what governments are doing, nobody really wants to budge in terms of the status quo that’s presently there. Present Cops, Copenhagen meetings that have happened, more and more western governments are budging out and they don’t really want to address the issue of climate change or climate justice. I think if we have a bottom-up approach, once you just get the people, you know, understanding the topic, let them adopt it and then I'm sure the government at some point in time will get to understand. It is a hard sell but it’s a much needed sell, because at the end of the day, Africans are the ones that are going to pay the heaviest price for climate change.