Kenya continues to intensify efforts to combat climate change

By Claire Wanja/Release 

Kenya continues to intensify efforts to reduce the country’s vulnerability to the impact of climate change and has developed strategies to roll out County-specific action plans.

The Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat has been in talks with various stakeholders on how County governments’ can mainstream climate change responsive strategies especially where key vision 2030 projects are being implemented.

VDS Director General, Dr. Julius Muia said that the secretariat is seeking to identify ways to boost awareness of the harmful effects of climate change and how the public can extend a hand to building resilience of the country’s poor and those in vulnerable situation.

“Climate change is a cross-cutting development issue and it is crucial that all stakeholders involved in the implementation of Vision 2030 flagship projects work closely to mainstream climate proofing and climate change responsive strategies into development plans,” said Dr. Muia

Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat is currently implementing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) whose objectives include providing a platform for knowledge sharing on local and practical climate change adaptation initiatives within the Vision 2030 framework.

The Hanns Seidel Foundation runs over 100 projects in 60 countries worldwide with a on strengthening civil society, civic involvement and promoting the rule of law, education and management training, raising environmental awareness and advising decision makers in politics, business and administration.

The MOU further provides mentoring support to stakeholders who are integrating climate change into their development projects.

Similarly, VDS and HSF have engaged with project implementing agencies in Nairobi through knowledge sharing workshops and meetings, undertaken profile checks and held sensitization workshops in various counties, as well as carried out mentorship programmes.

“The expected outcome of the sensitization workshops is to create awareness and build capacity among the pilot counties in order to develop appropriate climate change action plans. These frameworks will provide credible benchmarks for rolling out similar programmes in other counties,” said Dr.Muia.

This programme will be linked with Sustainable Development Goals initiative to incorporate more relevant issues that are addressed through the global goals that require corporate entities to embrace the initiative to fight poverty.

Right now, the effects of climate change are already being felt by many people across Africa. For instance, Kenya is currently experiencing a food security emergency caused by the persisting drought that experts warn could last through 2017.  Evidence shows that the change in temperatures has affected the health, livelihoods, food productivity, water availability, and overall security of the African people.

According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index for 2015, seven of the ten countries most at risk from climate change are in Africa.

Africa has seen a decrease in rainfall over large parts of the Sahel and Southern Africa, and an increase in parts of Central Africa. Over the past 25 years, the number of weather-related disasters, such as floods and droughts, has doubled, resulting in Africa having a higher mortality rate from droughts than any other region.