We are very proud to share the great news that reached us a few days ago. Obrein one of our AiduAlumni who also heads the AiduAlumni Association is one of the 3 finalists for the global UN-Habitat CCCI Blogging & Social Media Competition. Nominated for one of his essays he got invited to the 2013 EcoMobility World Festival taking place in Suwon, Republic of Korea.
We have shared stories about Obrein before (read up more here-), but this is yet another great example of the stunning impact education can have on a life. Just a few years ago Obrein would have had to drop out of school and never finish his secondary education without the support of a scholarship funded by one of our AiduMakers. And now he his not only a very active member of his community and actively pursuing his further studies in Nairobi, but also part of a new generation of young leaders who are concerned with global issues and are getting active and involved to bring about change. Obrein and his fellow Alumni are bringing new hope and energy to their communities and far beyond. We are very proud and happy for him.
Read below Obrein’s winning text. You can also find this text on his personal blog
THE BICYCLE CITY
The pristine beaches of Mombasa are now threatened. The fresh, refreshing breeze is now polluted. Even the waters are scary rather than enticing. A swim in the oceans is not that fun anymore. Dealing with the slimy fluids in the name of grease from discarded car and boat engines is not welcoming anymore. The sudden increase in the number of engine powered boats does not create the desirable feeling of a holiday in the coast. Instead, the noise generated by the boats makes it not any different from the big cities we break away from. The long traffic snarl ups en route the beach worsen the problem the more.
When the beaches are no longer immaculate. When the breeze is no longer fresh and refreshing. Where will people outside the coast go for holiday? How are we going to raise our revenue? Are some of these machines even necessary in such a city? We have become too lazy to walk to the malls. Schools and offices are now a cab away. This has left obesity, hypertension to boom and flourish!
How I crave for a bicycle city. How I crave for a dinghy city. A simple city with the ability to live in tranquility. A system, coexisting in ecosystem. A bicycle would not emit any harmful fumes that will later threaten lives. That will threaten our very source of livelihood. There would be no more traffic nightmares. Let us restore the good old days with simple boat rides in the seas. Days when people would bask in the sun and reflect without distraction.
To achieve goal number eight of the Millennium Development Goals we definitely do not need billions. Adoption of Eco-mobility will go a long way in realizing this goal. It is a simple and practical way of life that has discernible impacts. Climate Change is to a great extent caused by things that are not necessities in life. If we can walk to work, why do we need 20 cars each emitting a considerable amount of gases into the atmosphere?
Eco-mobility means of transport are unfortunately perceived to be out-modish. The in vogue Range rovers are what everyone wants to have. Camels at the coast are not a form of transport but are used to entertain tourists in the sandy beaches. My city is abandoning cheap, readily available forms of transport for expensive and complicated ones. Eco-mobility does not feature incandescently.
I pose and propose that we adopt Eco-mobility especially for an urbanizing world like ours. That county government enact policies that will facilitate the implementation of Eco-Mobility. That we promote walking to work, fossil fuel-powered means of transport and cycling.
The Suwon experience will be an opportunity to benchmark and learn what other nations are doing to achieve environmentally friendly transport options. Such practical solutions will goad inhabitants of my city assume healthy ways of life through Eco-Mobility.