I charge the keeper of the keys
Many decades past Independence yet Africa is still crawling in its infancy, a continent endowed with bountiful resources yet still taken to be economically impoverished and the saying that “it is not going to get any better” seems to be the ideology that many have subscribed to, because of allowing these tumultuous appearances to dissuade their spirits from the correct channel of thought. Where people see a continent dependent of financial and economic support I see a continent filled with infinite possibility, a continent bustling with life and a room full of priceless treasures the secret lying on the keeper of the keys, therefore until the room of priceless treasures is well unlocked I choose to offer guiding principles to the keeper of the keys as long as I can with the best of my ability before I am forced to be one.
Being born and raised in Misesi a village in Kisii Kenya has made me to not only see but also experience what the inside of our continent can be really like. When I saw how the very basic needs were taken as a privilege, my classmates sexually consenting because of a cup of tea and mandazi promised by an elderly man, a man almost set on fire because of water and the hard labor of many being rewarded with just but a few pennies simply because they never went to school, I bemoaned how unfair this world was and like many I was almost driven to despair. To some water shortage, lack of food, energy and proper housing may seem unreal or just a mere talk that revolves around newspapers, television stations and political rallies to give sentiments force making them think of my words as lacking of authenticity and credibility but I charge them to look a little further from the facade of the building.
Africa is a land surrounded by nature in its entirety, the radiant rays of sunshine that usher the mornings in style, rainfall, the blue oceans and all water bodies, the trees and all plantations that cover our lands making it appealing to the eyes and the incessant moving air that fills our space. Needless to say Africa is richly endowed and it is our task in making sure there is sustenance in the use of these natural resources. If we come to a situation where all and sundry are well accommodated, there is assurance in the consistency of this system and mother nature is well considered then without any doubt, sustainable use of our natural resources will have been achieved. To reach this, there need to be a certain way that our natural resources are used so as to meet the needs of our society not only now but the future, In view of this, the most effective solution will be a lot of concentration on renewable resources and less on non-renewable resources which can be replenished with the passing of time.
The blooming energy shortage that has led to mass destruction of our forest covers and the rising of fuel cost is a major concern to the economy and the equitable distribution of natural resources. The reality seems devastating yet sunshine lies above us each day, wind power is underutilized and geothermal energy is not put in place in some regions. Consequently, if I were entrusted with the keys, I would use the strategies outlined below to ensure energy is no longer a concern.
One of the most widespread source is sunshine and luckily Africa happens to be one of those regions that experience the sun in a notable way, In fact one of the most recent studies by the report on solar power potential 2007, indicates that a solar generating facility covering just 0.3% of the area comprising North Africa could supply all of the energy required by the European union. Solar energy is also one of the most pure forms as it does not emit carbon to the atmosphere and can be used to make solar water pumps. I believe through public and private partnerships on creating solar generating facilities that will supply energy in plenty will be a lifetime resource that can guarantee provision of energy as the sun never gets replenished. Simple innovations geared towards solar energy should be at the heart of every development agenda and the government should offer its hand through the provision of subsidies and incentives. UNEP has also developed loan programs to support renewable market forces with attractive return rates in developing areas like Africa; this can also be an alternative if I were the keeper of the keys.
Wind power is the next solution to achieving a sustainable society, while fuel can be exhausted these cannot. Africa has a considerably large coastline with a significant amount of wind power and wave power that can generate energy, the western Coast of Arica has a notable wind power that can meet future energy needs. Efforts to ensure wind power is fully utilized so as to meet future energy prospects should be made in each and every country in Africa. Many countries have so far taken this into effect, The Koudia Al Baida Farm in Morocco which serves as a source of energy in Morocco is a very significant example as it is currently the largest wind farm in the continent, Kenya is also on a plan to build a wind farm in Marsabit that will become one of the largest wind farms in Africa. This is not limited to the two countries as there are presently others but these are worth mentioning. Wind power should not be left untapped, government finances on matters development will do good if they construct farms in their regions.
Geothermal energy which is a form of heat from the earth if utilized can be a good step undertaken in the assurance of present and future energy demands. This is a clean and sustainable resource as it uses natural heat from the earth and it does not release carbon to the environment. Kenya has one of the largest geothermal plants in the continent that sometimes provide energy for agriculture in flower farms. Being that geothermal is underutilized in Africa a lot of survey and research should be emphasized and carried out to ensure that Geothermal is used in areas that have not yet discovered a source, however great research should be carried out in the exploitation process so as to fully utilize the energy potential output. Establishment of these geothermal plants can be problematic because of high financial requirement which may not be available at the moment, however if I would be the keeper of the keys despite of this I would use whichever means with hope that it will pay off at the long run.
We as a continent are navigating through tumultuous times where a portion of humanity breaths their last because of inadequate food, biodiversity seems to have caught up with us and looking for an escape route is the way forward. Vegetation is one of the most precious gifts of nature and anything short of preservation can lead to utter ruin making our world inhabitable. It is the source food for humanity, fiber for clothing, for medicinal purposes and the list of its importance has no end. As an esteemed keeper of the keys, I would come up with an educational program to educate upcoming farmers on sustainable planting mainly through agricultural research. Overexploitation, biodiversity and deforestation are of great harm to plants wholly, In fact. The State of East Africa Report 2006 reports that an area larger than Rwanda has been deforested in four countries of East Africa in just the past decade due to population pressure on agricultural land. I believe the best approach I could take is to find a balance between the needs of the farmers and resource conservation.
Sustainability of animal species and various habitats in the ecosystem should be emphasized. Cheap meat companies that pose harm to animal life and endanger the future should be looked into, aquaculture should not be left at the mercies of pollution but should also be protected. If I were the keeper of the keys, I would ensure poaching laws are put in place with more force in them and the endangered species are kept in zoos where a lot of safety is taken.
Today, I charge the keeper of the keys through my own ideas to recognize that the our struggles and those of the environment are intimately connected, I charge them to stand up for sustainable use of natural renewable resources for then the promise of a better tomorrow will be certain.