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Embedding sport in local problem-solving in Kenya

Author: Gabriel Tabona
Copyrights: Gabriel Tabona

Embedding sport in local problem-solving in Kenya

A look at how sports can hover around use of local resources to solve local problems.

Without a doubt, nations’ quest for prosperity is hinged on natural, human and technical resources they possess. Yet, civil strife occasioned by poor re-distribution of benefits continues to soar. This, notwithstanding austerity measures put in place to reduce plunder of public resources and debt albeit with the proliferation of countless Free Trade Areas and intergovernmental alliances.

In football, partnerships have provided avenues through which local resources are harnessed to solve local problems. Courtesy of  FIFA Football Forward and La-liga through Media-Pro, custodians of Kenyan football are now developing their own capacity to produce live football matches. However, on-field concerns on the impact of foreign players and coaches on the national team's performance continue to cast doubts on the viability of coaches’ education and the establishment of centres of excellence initiated by the Kenyan F.A.

Adaptive-sports efforts such as the ones spearheaded by Maasai Cricket, have demonstrated that communities can use resources at their disposal to achieve local aspirations. Using cricket to sensitise societal issues such as early marriage have put a spotlight on Kenya’s tourism profile thereby supplementing Brand Kenya Board’s “Buy Kenya, Build Kenya” project.

When neighbourhoods such as Dandora host one of Africa’s largest dumping sites, local innovation comes in handy to alleviate health and environmental hazards. Hip Hop City’s Customer Bora Platform is a clear example of how teaming up with Kenya Association of Manufactures can engineer better plastic disposal practices. By texting a serial number of used bottles to the online platform, users will earn points and rewards upon delivering them to designated drop-off points, setting the stage to change consumer attitudes.

Perhaps, if sports organisations plug in their energies to the project, used bottles can be transformed into attractive water cans carrying sports nutrition messages like rehydration, hence contributing to the battle against non-biodegradable plastic. Ultimately, this will trigger reduction of 4,000 tonnes of garbage witnessed daily in Nairobi.

If only government initiatives like the Economic Stimulus Programme take into account the above scenarios, avenues for public-led processes that value local resources to tackle problems will realise the Kenya Vision 2030 agenda.


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Monday, September 24, 2018 - 11:56

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