Kenyan women take charge to protect nature during the climate crisis | Global Ideas | DW | 15.07.2021

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Global Ideas

Kenyan women take charge to protect nature during the climate crisis

Northern Kenya's herders are feeling the effects of climate change. It's hotter, drier and clashes over water are common. Habiba Tadicha is fighting for a better future for her community.

Watch video 06:06

Kenya: Environmentalist Habiba Tadicha

Habiba Tadicha is familiar with the herders' problems from her previous work as the chair of Biliqo Bulesa Community Conservancy, a protected area near her home village Biliqo in northern Kenya. She was the first woman to be elected to the position. Today in her role on the elders' council, she's mediating peace talks — climate change has spurred tensions over scarce water. 

Her work can be dangerous. She's been shot at a few times. But she isn't discouraged: She recognizes the opportunities wildlife conservation can offer her community. 

During her time as chair of the conservancy she used revenues from the protected area, as well as donations, to build two additional classrooms in the village secondary school. Tadicha also established a cultural center with other local women. 

The women rent out rooms in the center and use the income for their loans and savings cooperative, founded by Tadicha. The co-op issues credit to the women so they can achieve some economic independence and pay for their children's education. Tadicha believes if you have something to lose, you're less likely to fight. 

A film by Edwin Gikonyo Kariuki and Tabea Mergenthaler

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