Faith Jimmy is from Nairobi in Kenya. She was funded by a Rotary Scholarship from District 1090 in the Thames Valley to study an MSc in Environmental Pollution at Reading University in 2020-21.
Climate change and its impacts remained a strange word till 2006. Before then, charcoal making had increased as my community residents were quick to find a solution to their financial problem. The rainfall pattern shifted, and the usual amount of rainfall changed. The word climate change started becoming familiar. The big farms could no longer have a productive harvest and so farmers stopped relying fully on crop farming. It occurred to me that I needed to do a conservation related course to educate my fellow residents on agroforestry and sustainable tree harvesting. As a young girl who loved travelling, I enrolled at Kenyatta University to study for a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Education. At Kenyatta University I was involved in several travels throughout my studies that exposed me to different environmental problems that people faced and the sustainable solutions they used. I adapted some of the methods and taught my community members how to solve similar environmental problems.
My dream of rescuing my people from severe drought continued and this saw me joining the Masters degree programme in Environmental Pollution at the University of Reading under the sponsorship of Rotary international. I successfully completed my Masters in September 2021. It was then when I travelled back home and Kenya as a country was experiencing severe drought that had been declared a national calamity. The community residents would walk several miles to fetch dirty water that was not fit healthwise. They would queue awaiting for the water to recharge in the small handmade water points which led to time being wasted. School pupils would wake up at midnight to go to get water so that they had time to utilize their day time in the school. This meant that some of them were exhausted and could not be productive in school. During the prolonged drought season, the handmade water points dried up, worsening the water scarcity issue.
It was during this moment that I was able to drill a 150 metre borehole for clean water supply. Going forward I will involve the Ministry of the Environment in Kitui County to distribute timber production seedlings to the residents and also provide beehives where the residents will be trained on honey harvesting. This will stop the reliance on charcoal making which in the long run will restore the ecosystem and curb the soil erosion menace.