Tuesday, 03 September 2019 09:36

Mainstreaming climate change in our generation!

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The devolved system of government in Kenya as envisioned by the constitution of 2010 offers a unique opportunity for cascading not only government services to the grassroots level but also the prospects of responding to climate. The County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) that were developed at the onset of devolution and submitted in 2013 contained a wealth of information, providing an analysis of economic, social and environmental factors to guide development plans and projects which included the existential response to climate change.
The report from the StARCK+ Climate Change Technical Assistance to the Government of Kenya programme in 2017 examined how the 47 CIDPs integrated climate change. The objectives of the research were among others to provide insights on how climate change was addressed by the various counties and recommend actions to improve the mainstreaming of climate change in the next 2nd generation CIDPs that were being developed for the second cycle of development.
The report revealed that Adaptation actions were a priority for many counties, consistent with the National Climate Change Action Plan 2013-2017 (NCCAP) that stated that adaptation is the priority for Kenya. Thirty-nine CIDPs identified adaptation actions including: awareness creation and capacity building to improve understanding of and action on climate change, sustainable agriculture (including conservation agriculture, irrigation and improved livestock practices), and improved access to water, establishment of early warning systems, and water catchment conservation and protection
Some counties, with support from development partners have made substantial progress in the implementing the original intentions and moved on to expand their climate responsiveness. The Counties of Garissa, Kitui and Isiolo enacted their County Climate Change Finance (CCCF) legislation. All five counties now have a legal framework to access climate finance and support investments in public goods that build local adaptation to climate change. Garissa, Wajir and Isiolo have CCCF Acts enacted by the county assemblies committing a minimum of 2% of their development budget to the CCCF kitty while Kitui and Makueni have CCCF Regulations committing a minimum of 1% of their development budget to the same. Counties will use the CCCF allocations to leverage funding from other sources to ensure predictable and sustainable funding streams for climate change activities. They have not only used this as a basis to attract funding from bilateral partners but also set a pace for other counties to emulate.
Further, the Council of Governors in partnership with Braced held Climate Change mainstreaming workshop to provide knowledge management and communications support on climate change governance and management to CoG staff. The aim was to help increase the ability of communications staff in CoG to boost awareness of climate change and increase the knowledge base on climate change in the Maarifa centre.
In addition, through the partnership, the team had an opportunity to visit some of the counties to review how they mainstreamed climate change. The team visited, Meru and Uasin Gishu, there was a variance in terms of progress made in terms of Climate change response. In Meru, they noted that the county had taken major steps in the implementation of climate change Adaption, particularly in identifying actions that address mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions within the county. Meru County has also taken serious steps to implement actions in increasing forest cover through tree planting, restoration and rehabilitation of degraded forests, and reducing emissions from deforestation. They also promote agroforestry and use of renewable energy.
Uasin Gishu County, also referred to as the breadbasket of Kenya has been known to have high and reliable rainfall for a long time. The county Government has been leading in the process of Climate change response through awareness programmes to local farmers and offering free advice on farm inputs. At the same time the local government has gazetted all the water catchment areas in a bid to conserve and restore them. There are numerous projects around the county on water conservation in addition to the promotion of the use of green energy particularly solar. The county has also been promoting afforestation through the planning of indigenous trees by establishing tree nurseries in strategic places across the county. A tour of some the areas in the county revealed substantial efforts in the various activities in climate response. The County is keen in ensuring that response to Climate is done promptly and that residents recognize of the effects of Climate Change.

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