Date Posted: May 28th, 2012
Our story from Kenya is about harvesting rainwater, and is published to mark World Environment Day on June 5.
Harvesting rainwater not only saves money for the Kenyan business owner, it also protects the environment. It makes best use of rainwater that might otherwise be wasted or contribute to soil erosion, and by not removing scarce water from other sources, it conserves water and makes it available for other human and/or ecological uses.
World Environment Day is an annual event which was first celebrated in 1972. Through this special day, the United Nations draws worldwide attention towards the environment and encourages political awareness and action. The overall aim of World Environment Day is for everyone not only to realize their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.
The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is “Green Economy: Does it include you?”
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) defines a Green Economy as one “that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” UNEP says that a green economy “can be considered as an economy which is low carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive.”
You can find more resources on the Green Economy on the UNEP website at: http://www.unep.org/wed/greeneconomy/
From the UNEP, here are some Green Economy success stories from around the world, including several from Africa: http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/SuccessStories/tabid/29863/Default.aspx
Also from UNEP, here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Green Economy: http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/AboutGEI/FrequentlyAskedQuestions/tabid/29786/Default.aspx
This website has a searchable (on a global map!) list of events and celebrations planned for World Environment Day on Wednesday, June 5: http://www.unep.org/wed/aroundtheworld/activitymap/
For Twitter users, use or search the hashtag: #wed2012 to follow or post events and updates.
If you want to do programming on environmental issues, you might first want to talk to farmers about their environment. Have they seen changes in their environment over time? What changes have they seen – in the weather, the soil, in the vegetation around the farm, the growing season, in livestock, or in animal and insect pests? What environmental changes have made farming more difficult? Which changes have been beneficial to the farmer?
You could also ask farmers who or where they turn if they have questions about the environment. Where do they get the information they need? From extension workers? From other farmers? From other government workers? From NGOs? From radio stations? Or perhaps they have nowhere and no-one to turn to. Ask them what kind of environmental themes they would like to hear about on the radio.