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Gas emissions may prolong drought in Kenya, Waiguru says

Thursday, October 6th, 2022 02:00 | By
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru PHOTO/Courtesy

Council of Governors chairperson (COG) Ann Waiguru has called for significant steps to be deployed in addressing gas emissions, warning that this may prolong the drought situation in the country.

Waiguru regretted that climate change will have a huge impact on future food supplies in counties and thus local communities need to be supported to help in creation of green investments.

Speaking in Nairobi during a round table on climate action with Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group Amina Mohammed, the governor urged the global body to prioritise extending support to county governments to develop county climate innovation hubs.

She said the innovation hubs would support youth and women contribution to climate change adaption and mitigation.

“We acknowledge your visit to Kenya as you lead the run-up to Conference of Parties to harness the Africa collective call and actions in the wake of ecological and climate emergency as well as voice the national aspirations on climate action,” she said.

Waiguru said counties focus on climate action has been necessitated by the adverse impact of climate change on livelihoods and partnership will help draw a climate compatible development pathway.

Currently, she said drought situation in Kenya has continued to worsen in 20 of the 23 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALS) counties.

This has been attributed to failure of four consecutive rain seasons with a projected 4.35 million people estimated to be affected by October 2022.

The CoG chair said due to climate change, marginalised and vulnerable communities in counties are facing greater difficulties from extreme weather which is manifesting as droughts, floods, landslides, cold snaps and others.

County governments

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that Africa is highly vulnerable and adversely impacted by climate change with reported increase in diseases and pests and hotter temperatures. “County Governments are assigned specific functions and responsibilities including implementation of national policies on environment, climate change, natural resources management, forestry, soil and water conservation and disaster risk management,” she noted.

The Kirinyaga governor noted that the County Governments have constrained financial and human capacity, to address the overwhelming challenges of climate change and therefore need UN support to enhance their capacity to mobilise additional financing including green and blue bonds.

  “I therefore propose that the UN deliberately collaborate with County Governments to enhance their capacity to mobilise additional financing including green and blue bonds,” the Chair said.

The governor said counties requires support to undertake restoration of forest, watershed and rangelands, develop water storage and treatment plants to increase access to portable water, construction of dams.  She said there is need for commercialisation of the livestock sector to enhance productive livestock value chain in the ASALS counties. Waiguru asked UN to consider counties in the proposed review for the United Nations Sustainable Development and Cooperation Framework to incorporate the County Governments Integrated Development Plans.

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