The drought affected over 23 million people, or about 40% of the population, causing widespread food insecurity, livestock deaths, and displacement. This catastrophe serves as a stark reminder of the impact climate change can have on Kenya and the urgency to take action.
In celebration of Earth Day, Google has released data highlighting the top sustainability-related trends in Kenya. The data showcases Kenyans’ growing interest in environmental issues, as they search for answers to questions and learn more about the pressing concerns of our planet.
Kenyans are demonstrating a strong desire to understand environmental terms and concepts, such as global warming and climate change. In simple terms, global warming is the gradual increase in Earth’s temperature due to human activities, while climate change refers to the wider effects of global warming, including changes in weather patterns and more extreme weather events. Both of these issues have a significant impact on the world’s environment, economy, and society. In Kenya, the most asked questions on Google include:
Google’s data also highlights the top trending topics in Kenya, showcasing a growing interest in these areas. Soil contamination has seen a significant increase in searches, which is particularly relevant for Kenya’s agricultural sector. Kenyans are also actively searching for information on environmental, social, and corporate governance, highlighting a shift towards responsible business practices.
Drought remains a pressing concern, as evidenced by the devastating 2022 drought in Kenya, which was the worst in 40 years according to the International Red Cross. The drought affected over 23 million people, or about 40% of the population, causing widespread food insecurity, livestock deaths, and displacement. This catastrophe serves as a stark reminder of the impact climate change can have on Kenya and the urgency to take action. The top trending topics are:
The most searched topics showcase a range of environmental subjects that Kenyans are eager to explore:
Google is also supporting efforts to address environmental challenges in Africa. AirQo, an initiative of Makerere University in Kampala, received a $1.3M AI Impact Challenge grant in 2019 to pioneer an innovative approach to low-cost air quality monitoring. The second grant to Makerere has enabled AirQo to scale to six new African cities including Nairobi, Lagos, Accra, Cape Coast, Kigali, Addis Ababa, and Dar es Salaam.
These collaborative efforts highlight the potential of technology to address pressing global issues and empower communities. Agnes Gathaiya, Country Director, emphasized the importance of individual and collective action: “Climate change is one of humanity’s most urgent challenges, and Earth Month is an opportunity for all of us to consider how we can make a difference. By providing accessible information on environmental topics, we hope to empower Kenyans to take action for a more sustainable future. It’s not just about what Google does; it’s about how we can all work together to protect our planet.”
The data highlights Kenya’s growing awareness and commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. As the country faces unique challenges in combating climate change, such as droughts and soil contamination, the increased attention to these issues is a testament to the growing public engagement on Earth Day and beyond.