Wednesday November 22, 2017

A new form of financing is being used by communities to prioritise and plan investments for helping them adapt to climate change. The fund set up by County Governments bring together vulnerable communities and technical officers from the county governments to make decisions on how the fund will be used.

Goats bleating near a dry water pan, failed crops, and women walking for long distances with their donkey in search of water is the sight that welcomes you when you visit Mtito wa Ndei in Makueni. This situation is made worse by poor, unpredictable and unreliable rainfalls coupled with increased human activities that have led to the drying of springs, streams and rivers across the county.

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Read more: Innovative Climate Change Financing Helps Community Survive Perennial Drought

How do nationally and locally managed climate funds compare in creating impact on the ground? Guest blogger John Nyangena weighs up the pros and cons of each approach.

Mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) were set up to enable climate vulnerable countries access to finance for low carbon climate resilient development. But the criteria for accessing these funds are highly stringent and to stand any chance of success, projects must demonstrate clear potential for creating real impact on the ground.

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Read more: Funding local adaptation in Kenya: nationally vs. locally managed funds

The reality that is climate change, is already affecting the Kenyan economy and its people in different ways. Recent increase in the frequency and severity of climate hazards in the country especially high temperatures, prolonged droughts, and floods among others are largely affecting major sectors including agriculture, water, health and energy. These effects are manifested in frequent crop failure, loss of livestock, increased conflict over resources and in some cases loss of lives.Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya are hard hit by effects of climate change with the poor becoming poorer, and hundreds of lives threatened as a result of drought.

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Read more: Climate Change Adaptation at Sub-National Level: Lessons from the Arid and Semi-Arid Region of Kenya

The training as a primary intermediary on Climate Information Services (CIS) in 2014 opened my understanding on how valuable and crucial climate information is, in making sustainable development decisions. The knowledge acquired has been very important in my day-to-day interaction with communities and training of Secondary Intermediaries.

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Read more: Climate Information Service Intermediary to Climate Information Prize* Winner

Climate information is extremely crucial to small-scale farmers who are vulnerable to climate change and weather extremes. Daily, weekly and seasonal forecast help them to make informed decision and better manage risks associated with agro-pastoral life.

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Read more: Climate Information Service for better Decision Making

Wajir County is set to access KES 142,709,714 Million after passing Wajir Climate Change Fund (WCCF) Act 2016. Through the Act, County government will set aside 2% (around 80 Million) of their development budget to climate change adaptation and resilience and will further access 62,709,714 Million as seed money from Department for International Development (DfID) in the implementation of the WCCF.

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Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Planning: Lessons from Arid and Semi Arid regions of Kenya

The reality that is climate change, is already affecting the Kenyan economy and its people in different ways. The impact is being felt through increased frequency and intensity of extreme climate effects such as high temperatures, prolonged droughts, and floods among others. These effects in turn impact livelihoods (eg crop failure, loss of livestock), infrastructure (for example: impassable and or destroyed roads), and in some cases results in loss of lives.

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Read more: Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Planning

Makueni County goes into the African continent’s history as the first to enact a law that incorporates global warming into its development planning.

During the just-concluded United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the county was applauded for passing a law that sets aside one per cent of its Sh5 billion annual development budget towards climate change adaptation.

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Read more: Makueni County sets pace in Africa with climate change agenda

Devolved powers are allowing communities greater access to climate finance in four counties in Kenya.

In Kenya, four arid and semi arid counties (Isiolo, Garissa, Kitui, and Wajir) are at an advanced stage of approving their County Climate Change Fund (CCCF) legislations. These new measures are providing local communities with access to climate finance and greater say in how it is spent.

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Read more: Accessing Climate Finance in Kenya

The recently concluded negotiations at COP20 - the 20th Conference of Parties to the United Nations (UN’s) Framework Convention on Climate Change - in Lima, Peru saw the pledges for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) rise to an equivalent of USD10.2B up from the USD9.3B pledged in Berlin, Germany in November 2014.

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Read more: Is Kenya Ready for the Green Climate Fund allocations in 2020?

The Adaptation Consortium (Ada) has made great strides in mainstreaming climate change adaptation into the planning and budget systems in the counties of Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni, Garissa and Wajir with Makueni becoming the first county in Kenya and indeed the region to enact County Climate Change regulations.

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Read more: Enactment of County Climate Change Fund Legislation: An Opportunity for Vulnerable Counties in Kenya

Screen shotKenya has never been more vulnerable than now to the impacts of weather and climate. It is the responsibility of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) to continually adjust national development programmes usually at a high cost.

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Read more: A framework for co-producing decision-relevant climate information services at county level

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