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Turning waste paper into art, Kenyan schoolchildren help to end global warming

April 21, 2019 at 10:00 am | Tech & Innovation

Fatiatu Inusah

Fatiatu Inusah | Contributor

April 21, 2019 at 10:00 am | Tech & Innovation

Kenyan students turn paper waste into art. Pic credit: BBC

According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, greenhouse gas emissions are at its highest level in history and it has resulted in changing weather patterns, rising sea levels and other extremities of the weather.

Climate change is a global phenomenon that affects every country in the world. Without any significant measures to curb the emission of gases into the atmosphere, the planet has been tipped to get hotter in the ensuing years. It requires concerted efforts by countries, organisations and individuals to contribute towards the reduction of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Over the years, a number of people, adult and children, have devised various methods of saving the environment. Last year, BBC Africa interviewed Lesein, a 14-year-old who invented ‘Tree for Goals’ a project that is aimed at saving the environment through planting a tree anytime he scores a goal.

This year a group of school children from Kenya have also joined world efforts to end global warming. 11-year-old Baraka and her friends at the Loreto Convent Valley Road in Kenya are saving the planet through their environmental club by using waste paper in their school to create Papier Mache, said the BBC.

Papier Mache is a form of art that is used to create objects such as helmets, masks, toys, among others. It made from paper, adhesives and reinforced some other textiles.

Baraka and her friends are engaged in this project in order to save the planet from global warming. She told BBC Africa: “Papers are the leading waste products in schools and burning them produce carbon dioxide into the air. It blocks the Ozone layer and that is why we get excessive heat on earth.

“In our club, we are picking up the paper and making Papier Mache. I think the government has done enough but in Kenya, people are still littering. As children, we need to start sensitizing our friends because the more people we tell, the more awareness we spread”.

Burning contributes greatly to global warming as it releases carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere. Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases which include water vapour, methane, nitrous oxide gather in the atmosphere and absorb solar radiations that have bounced off the earth’s surface. These pollutants trap the heat in the atmosphere and cause the planet to get hotter.

Research has shown that Africa is likely to suffer the most from global warming even though it has the lowest per capita global warming emissions. East Africa for instance has suffered from an interrupted seasonal rain for two consecutive seasons which triggered the worst drought in the region in 2011.

Human activities have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Activities such as Fossil fuel burning have significantly increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by adding greatly to the desired atmospheric percentage over the past twenty years. The average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in history.

Without any major steps by humans to cut down on greenhouse emissions, the next decade will witness global environmental catastrophe according to Douglas Lober in his article on ’10 Human Causes of Global Warming for 2019’.

The world is going to suffer from costly consequences which include among other extremely critical effects, increased flooding, heat waves, infectious disease outbreak, spread of conditions favourable for pathogens and mosquitoes, destruction of habitats which could drive plant and animal species into extinction, a trigger of allergies and factors which will destroy agriculture and fisheries.

The planet needs saving and efforts of school children like Baraka and her friends need to be widely encouraged to help end global warming.

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