Stay in the fight for climate justice
The planet that we all share belongs to everyone and everyone needs to share in the responsibility. We must all work together to preserve it for ourselves right now and for our future generations.
Joyce Koech, is a climate activist and teacher from Mombasa, Kenya. Photo: Rogers Ouma.
I would like women to know that it is only through unity, using our common voice and education that we can change the world.”
“Mikoko Yetu Uhai Wetu'' - our mangroves are what keep us alive.
When I was a child growing up on the coast side of Kenya, I was always fascinated by the trees that grew on top of the sea water. But over a period of time the trees started to disappear, they had been cut down to make way for infrastructure and logging, but the communities depended on them for food to feed their families. So, I started a campaign called “Mikoko Yetu Uhai Wetu'' meaning our mangroves are what keeps us alive.
I am campaigning for a healthy ecosystem through mangrove restoration. My vision is to see healthy mangroves and communities benefiting economically from the healthy ecosystem. This cause is important for me because it gives me the fulfilment that I get to play a small part in healing our planet.
I want to achieve solutions to the climate crisis and mangroves are a powerful tool to reduce emissions and to improve the lives of my people.
What motivates me is the desire to see equity and fairness.
The aim of climate justice is to address the disproportionate impacts of climate change on communities that have done the least to contribute to the climate crisis. Having the peoples’ voices in decisions affecting them is part of achieving climate justice. It means everyone is heard and their opinions matter.
We must have sustainable business right now, we must phase out fossils right now, for a more livable planet tomorrow!”
Joyce Koech, Kenya
Some of the most important changes in climate activism are first and foremost climate education and public awareness of the effects of climate change, the public is starting to know the challenges we are facing. The second is youth involvement in calling out the urgency of the climate action.
Climate change has had devastating impacts on my community.
My community faces the worst impacts of climate change from severe droughts, flooding and water scarcity yet they have contributed very little to greenhouse gas emissions.
This has also disrupted agricultural productivity. Agriculture is one of the main sources of income in most of my community so this has caused an economic crisis. People have lost their lives, property and loved ones which is a big challenge to recover and rebuild.
The challenges are mostly funding, I want my community to overcome the effects of climate change and build resilience, but these need funding that is hard to come by. I want to see us adapt and be empowered and not become victims of climate change.
Joyce is amplifying in her voice and calling for collective action to address the knock-on impacts of the climate crisis such as increased gender inequality.. Photo: Rogers Ouma.
Climate change continues to increase the gap on gender equality. Women are girls are always disproportionately affected leading to girls missing out on school since they have to go long distances to fetch water and secure food for the family.”
Joyce Koech, Kenya
Inspiring young women
I have always been inspired by the late Waangari Maathai, the Nobel peace prize laureate. She was an environmentalist and a human rights activist.
The more you degrade the environment the more you dig deeper into poverty.”
Joyce Koech, Kenya
I would like women to know that it is only through unity, using our common voice and education that we can change the world. In the future I see a community that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change, a community where women and girls are empowered and use our natural resources sustainably without harming our planet.
Joyce Koech, is a climate activist and teacher from Mombasa, Kenya. Her activism began when she started the campaign “Mikoko Yetu Uhai Wetu'' (our mangroves are what keeps us alive). She has since broadened her activism to include other issues of climate justice including gender equality, community awareness and youth involvement. She advocates for sustainable business practices and a future that is free from fossil fuels.
Kenyan activist Joyce leading a climate crisis protest march. Photo: Rogers Ouma.