What $34Mn Project Can do to Tackle Effects of Climate Change in Kenya

According to President Kenyatta, the country’s commitment is to lower her greenhouse gas emissions by 32 per cent and termed climate change as a development and security threat that must be addressed urgently.

Kenya has launched a five-year project KSh3.4 billion ( $34Mn), meant to ease the impact of climate change on the economy.

Dubbed Towards Ending Drought Emergencies (Twende), targets the country’s eleven counties in arid and semiarid rangelands.

The counties are Garissa, Tana River, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Kajiado, Kitui, Makueni, Tharaka-Nithi, Meru and Taita Taveta.

“Building capacity and institutions for the improved implementation of devolution is seen as necessary to enhance the climate resilience of Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands. Interventions focus on increasing the adaptive capacities of communities and local institutions to develop evidence-based landscape planning,” says Green Climate Fund who is backing the project in its overview.

“This will be done by increasing accessibility to climate data and information, and enhancing the ability of community-based cottage industries to access markets and financial services.”

The project aims to restore 500,000 hectares of rangeland and benefit over 620,000 people.

The project is funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), National Treasury and other implementing partners with GCF contributing $23.2 million (KSh2.5 billion), Treasury and other partners contribute the remaining $11.3 million (KSh1.2 billion).

In January, President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government is committed to implementing global climate change adaptation initiatives, but called for concerted efforts.

“Kenya commits to implement the adaptation action agenda; but we can only succeed if we all, as a global community, collaborate in this noble endeavour,” Kenyatta said during a virtual high-level session of the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021.

“Kenya is already experiencing the multi-fold climate impacts, including erratic rainfall, droughts and increased temperatures. To contain this situation, we have scaled up our adaptation efforts; mainstreaming it into our national development strategy,” he told the participants that included United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

In 2018, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said the country loses about 2.0 – 2.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) every year due to effects of climate change. 

It also found that droughts cost Kenya 8% of GDP every five years.

Some of the policy instruments in place that seeks to mitigate the impact of climate change as the Climate Change Response Strategy (2010), Climate Change Action Plan (2013-2017), National Adaptation Plan (2015-2030), Climate Change Act (2016), National Determined Contribution (2016), Climate Change Framework Policy (2018), National Climate Change Action Plan (2018-2022).