the backyard

Climate Change! It starts with us. No one ever forced us to buy/consume products* which are not eco-effective.

I am 100% d’accord with Oscar’s wonderful appeal to the delegates to produce some useful output instead of just “churning out more re-cycled reports”.

And then I start thinking about my very own expectations on the Climate Change Conference, the desired output, how much I would love to see experts formulating a real draft that would actually promote a more eco-effective product design and create an awareness for sustainability. A draft that could be implemented 1:1 on national levels without much further ado, also because it’s impact doesn’t stop on national boundaries. Something that is powerful enough to change the minds of those who prefer financial profit to environmental protection. And, obviously, something that every nation on this planet has to sign (eh, you too, USA!).

(*products = everything we have produced during the last 200 years. this includes the exploration of energy resources, factories, etc. which all contribute to the change of climate during that period.)

“If you want to know about the state of a place, check the backyard”, my boss told me this morning. “If you go to someone’s place and you want to know how clean it is, go to his bathroom. If you want to know about a restaurant, check the kitchen. This is why our backyard is clean.”

No wonder we sometimes call him mwalimu mkuu.


So some people were cleaning the workshop room which had been inherited from a previous state office – including all the crap and many useful things like nice office furniture from the 1960s/70s (perfect quality compared to the furniture which has been donated some time ago) came to the daylight. So much potential. My boss knew about this and told my colleagues to clean the place.

“You know I went to Forodha Towers in Nbo earlier this year – and made a snap shot of the backyard”, I told him. “I even put it on the internet.”

“Yes”, he replied, “in fact you should take a snap shot of our backyard and also put it there to show that we have nothing to hide.”


Bananas, a ventilated pit latrine and pawpaws in our backyard. Karibu(ni)!

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.