RCE Greater Nairobi - 2019

YOUTHS AND YOUTH GROUPS IN ACCELERATING PROGRESS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Basic Information
Title of project : 
YOUTHS AND YOUTH GROUPS IN ACCELERATING PROGRESS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Nairobi
Contributing organization(s) : 
1. Kenyatta University Environment Club (KUNEC)
2. Small Axe Environmental Youth Group
3. Kenyatta University (KU)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Sam Nyamwange
Organizational Affiliation: 
Kenyatta University Environment Club
Name: 
Allan Kariuki
Organizational Affiliation: 
Small Axe Environmental Youth Group
Name: 
Dr Esther Lesan Kitur
Organizational Affiliation: 
Kenyatta University
Format of project: 
Powerpoint
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Friday, May 3, 2019
Additional resources: 
None
National Environment Policy of 2013
At what level is the policy operating?: 
National
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Africa and Middle East
Country: 
Kenya
Location(s): 
Nairobi and Kiambu Counties
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Small Axe Environmental Youth Group
Email: smallaxeinitiative@gmail.com
Location: Gatharaine River, Githurai
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The area is a highly populated urban area, characterized by informal commercial centres and a quarry. River Gatharani passes through the urban Centre. Agricultural activities e.g. growing of vegetables which use pesticides and fertilizers to increase productivity are present along the riparian. The riparian is threatened through encroachment by private developers. The river also acts as an illegal dumping site for solid wastes and illegal discharge from sewer lines. There are many educational institutions within the area with a high population of youths.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Flooding of the project area during the rainy seasons with garbage from the upstream which makes it difficult to plant the seedling on the riparian land as there is a large heap of garbage spread in the project area at the same time soil is waterlogged and the seedlings cannot grow. The river water is polluted by pollutants in the run-off. There is also encroachment by urban developers which is difficult to overcome due to political influence. The high unemployment rate among the youths and lack of resources for youth mobilization and training slow down the project as the youths once mobilized require facilitation for every meeting.
Contents
Status: 
Ongoing
Period: 
January, 2012 to January, 2022
Rationale: 
The rationale of the project was that the riparian land was degraded due to agricultural activities carried out along the river as well as the river was used as an illegal dumping site hence water in the river was polluted, and there was need to restore the riparian land and reduce pollution in the river as per SDG 6 . The restoration of the river required to stop the agricultural activities on the riparian land and this necessitated the clearing and growing of tree seedlings along the riparian land. It required that the large number of unemployed youths be mentored on the awareness of SDGs where they developed a passion and personal interest in environmental matters, the mentorship empower the riparian farmers on alternative sustainable agriculture and support livelihoods based on SDGs 1 & 2. The youths were also trained to become advocates of environmental justice. The high unemployment among the youths required a project that has income generating activities for the youth group with a focus on SDGs 1, 8 and GAP 4. In addition, growing of trees along the riparian land is combating climate change through creation of carbon sink as per SDG 13, and at the same time combat desertification and reverse land degradation in line with SDG 15
Objectives: 
i. Reduce unemployment among youths by creating income generating activities in the project
ii. Restoration of the riparian land through clearing of the illegal dumpsite
iii. Restoration of the river and improve water quality
iv. Create environmental aesthetic on riparian land viable for ecotourism
v. Create awareness of SDGs among youths and develop a passion and personal interest in environmental matters
vi. Empower riparian farmers on alternative farming for sustainable agriculture to support livelihoods
vii. Educate youths to become advocates of environmental justice
Activities and/or practices employed: 
• University environmental students educating the informal youth groups on environmental matters
• Cleaning of the river and riparian land by removing garbage
• Planting trees along the river
• Mobilizing and training youth groups on sustainable development
• Training community and youth groups on propagation of tree seedlings
• Training community groups on environmental issues
• Holding youth sustainability challenge
• Community outreach
• Mentorship programmes in primary and secondary schools
• Team building activities among youths to learn from each other
• Conducting annual Green Week
• Camping activities for youth groups
Size of academic audience: 
Thousands of Community members, University students, Primary school children and Informal youth groups have been reached
Results: 
i. Illegal dumpsite on the riparian land has been relocated
ii. The riparian land has been reclaimed and restored
iii. Encroachment is minimized
iv. Youths have set up income generating projects on the site – tree nurseries, planting of fruit trees. This has greatly reduced unemployment among the youths
v. Community has been trained on environmental conservation and entrepreneurship
vi. Good framing practice by the community has led to increased food security and sustainable agriculture
vii. Water quality in the river has improved. Cases of raw sewer being discharged into the river are decreasing
Lessons learned: 
A number of lessons were learnt that when the youths are empowered and awareness is created among them on SDGs, the youths are good in creating employment and are a group critical in the promotion of SDGs. The notable change on the riparian land was as a result of partnership between youths in the informal groups and youths in the institutions of higher learning. The sharing of information and best practices from both groups has contributed to the success of the project
Key messages: 
The government of any nation should not ignore their youths and youth groups. The groups have talents and passions, they only require facilitation. The youth and youth groups are key agents of change in a nation.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The project has relationship to other RCE activities such as sorting and recycling of e-wastes, waste management and creation of awareness of SDGs among the youths and communities.
Funding: 
The project is Self-funded through the youth income generating activities.

Pictures:

File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon JPEG 1.jpg (115.03 KB) Youths removing garbage from the river Small Axe Environmental Youth Group
Image icon JPEG 2.jpg (107.18 KB) Rehabilitated riparian land Small Axe Environmental Youth Group
Image icon JPEG 3.jpg (113.69 KB) Youths team building at the rehabilitated riparian land Small Axe Environmental Youth Group
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
Direct
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
Indirect
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Direct
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Indirect
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
Direct
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Direct
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Indirect
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Direct
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Direct
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Direct
Theme
Ecotourism 
Indirect
Forests/Trees 
Direct
Plants & Animals 
Indirect
Waste 
Direct
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Direct
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Direct
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
Direct