Kenyans turn to tradition to fight rising heat

(Context, 25 Nov 2022) Communities in Kenya are reverting to thatched roofs to stay cool amid worsening heatwaves fuelled by climate change.

Kenya - For Kenyan schoolteacher Simon Ewoi, having an iron-sheet roof on his house has been a source of pride - and a symbol of prosperity - in a village where thatched-grass roofs are the norm.

But about a decade after he built his home in Turkana county, Ewoi recently constructed a new building on his compound - this time reverting to a grass roof to try to cope with rising temperatures fuelled by climate change.

"Traditionally thatched houses are cooler than those roofed with iron sheets," the 37-year-old said in an interview.

"It is becoming necessary to have this additional house... to shelter away from rising heat," he added.

Temperatures in Kenya have risen by 0.3 degrees Celsius per decade since 1985, and a report last year by the charity Christian Aid said that the country's average annual temperature could increase by up to 2.5 degrees C between 2000 and 2050.

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Context, 25 Nov 2022: Kenyans turn to tradition to fight rising heat