In Kenya, 90% of land is arid or semi-arid. A warming climate, dwindling water resource, and severe drought and flood threaten food security, livelihoods, and ecosystems. As crises intensify, women are the most vulnerable, facing daily threats to their health, security and earnings. Women are also the best positioned to generate solutions, but their participation is often stifled due to limited access to education, social networks, financial resources, and reproductive health -- all of which affect their ability to enact solutions to critical climate challenges.
The Kenya Women's Earth Alliance Accelerator convenes cohorts of Kenyan women leaders to catalyze their efforts to protect their communities and the environment from climate threats like drought, coastal biodiversity collapse, and food insecurity. Through this project, grassroots women leaders throughout Kenya launch and scale climate resilience initiatives that have far-reaching impact.
The Accelerator aims to amplify women’s leadership through:
- Impact: Generating quantifiable impact through restoring ecosystems, transforming food systems, building green economies, and protecting people’s health, rights and safety.
- Awareness: Growing public awareness and visibility for key women-led environmental campaigns and causes via WEA’s international network.
- Access: Bolstering women’s environmental leadership nationally and internationally by strengthening women’s networks, their spheres of influence, and access to resources.
The Accelerator equips women with the skills, tools, networks, and resources they need to create sustainable and scalable environmental initiatives, enabling leaders in this program to scale projects related to reforestation, regenerative agriculture, and food security.
In 2021, WEA is building on the Kenya Climate Accelerator training to include strategies for COVID-19 response and building community resilience in the face of the compounding challenges of the climate crisis and any future global pandemics. The program is mobilizing rural communities by:
- Training grassroot networks and providing resources for education and awareness of livelihood opportunities, hygiene, and climate change in 10+ counties across Kenya. This includes training community women leaders who will then train other members in Self-Help Groups (SHGs) focusing on resilience and economic justice.
- Supporting women leaders to develop and implement community climate change and resilience action plans to address and prioritize the localized problems in each region of the country.
- Providing seed grants to help boost women’s initiatives and green businesses plans.
- Creating linkages between trained and active community groups and partner organizations in Kenya. Partner organizations will train local women leaders, elevating their voices to advocate for climate action and the planning and implementation of future Accelerators.
- Coordinating local working groups with key stakeholders to increase capacity and support around the climate change agenda in Kenya.
Women-led initiatives through the program are diverse -- from training communities to grow and distribute plant tree saplings for agroforestry, erosion control, and climate adaptation; to growing climate-resilient seeds and establishing community seed banks as a viable alternative to agrochemical systems. Women-led climate groups have also worked to identify and address potential climate disasters like flood and drought.
The funding need for the Kenya Climate Accelerator for one year of programming and operations is $200,000. This work has a 5 to 1 return on investment. Every $100 invested in WEA means 50 people benefit from training and hands-on technologies such as climate-resilient seed, clean cookstoves, and sustainable microenterprises. Thus, over 500 people benefit from the impacts of these initiatives through clean air, safe water, healthy food, and forest protection.
Whole communities and ecosystems are supported by uplifting grassroots solutions. 30 Kenya Accelerator Leaders mobilized over 9,000 people to plant thousands of trees in the most climate-ravaged regions of the country, sequestering 19 million pounds of CO2 over the past year. By launching tree nurseries, these leaders will supply saplings to the community for years to come, ensuring a long-term model for climate mitigation, economic development, and food security. Leaders also combine other economic enterprises with resilience initiatives such as energy-saving cookstoves and solar lamps.
If you are interested in supporting this project please use the form to the right to submit an inquiry.