Here is How The Climate Change Council Will Coordinate us in fighting hunger and Poverty.

Last week there were two major occur­rences that will impact Kenya’s food secu­ri­ty. The sec­ond of these occur­rences took place on Thurs­day when Pres­i­dent Ruto launched the 2022 Short Rains (Octo­ber to Decem­ber) Assess­ment Report at State House Nairo­bi. The report revealed that Kenya has expe­ri­enced a fifth con­sec­u­tive poor rain­fall sea­son. This has adverse­ly affect­ed an esti­mat­ed 6 mil­lion peo­ple in 32 coun­ties. Amongst those affect­ed are over 970,000 chil­dren aged between six to nine months and 142,000 preg­nant women. These vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of our soci­ety are cur­rent­ly mal­nour­ished and in need of urgent help.

What this report doesn’t reveal just because it is beyond its scope is that all 50 mil­lion Kenyans are indi­rect­ly affect­ed by the five con­sec­u­tive poor rain­fall sea­sons. We are all inter­de­pen­dent. If those who work for you in your office or house­hold are eat­ing less or skip­ping meals, their pro­duc­tiv­i­ty will be affect­ed, which will direct­ly impact you. That’s why we must rise togeth­er from this food inse­cu­ri­ty or we will even­tu­al­ly sink together.

I am con­fi­dent that we, as a nation are now tak­ing steps that will improve our cli­mate resilience and the food secu­ri­ty that relies on it.

Cli­mate resilience refers to our abil­i­ty to pre­pare for, recov­er from, and adapt to the impacts of cli­mate change, which include poor rain­fall sea­sons like the ones we have been experiencing.

Last week on Mon­day, the first major occur­rence relat­ed to our food secu­ri­ty passed almost unno­ticed by the pub­lic. On that day, Pres­i­dent Ruto nom­i­nat­ed four dis­tin­guished Kenyans to the Cli­mate Change Coun­cil. These four are Emi­ly Mwende Wai­ta, John Kioli, Umar Omar and George Odera Outa.

Although Kenya’s his­toric Cli­mate Change Act was enact­ed into law in 2016, it has tak­en sev­en years for its oper­a­tional­iza­tion to com­mence through the nom­i­na­tion of these four Coun­cil mem­bers. Par­lia­ment will now sub­ject them to con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly man­dat­ed scrutiny.

This Coun­cil will be chaired by the Pres­i­dent him­self and will amongst oth­er things, ensure the main­stream­ing of the cli­mate change func­tion by the nation­al and coun­ty gov­ern­ments. As such, the Coun­cil will then ensure that God for­bid, if there will be a sixth con­sec­u­tive poor rain­fall sea­son next year, the Nation­al and Coun­ty Gov­ern­ments will not be caught nap­ping. That’s why the Council’s full oper­a­tional­iza­tion is critical.

Once approved, the Cli­mate Change Coun­cil must imme­di­ate­ly swing into action because of these three reasons:

First­ly, anoth­er failed rain­fall sea­son would plunge mil­lions more Kenyan into chron­ic hunger. We must there­fore imple­ment cli­mate resilience inter­ven­tions imme­di­ate­ly. Accord­ing to the Unit­ed Nations Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change, cli­mate resilience includes inter­ven­tions like switch­ing to drought-resis­tant crops and reduc­ing depen­dence on rain fed agri­cul­ture. Let’s sim­pli­fy this lan­guage for Kenyans to execute.

Sec­ond­ly, we need to ensure that all nature-based eco­nom­ic activ­i­ties are not under­mined by a chang­ing cli­mate. Research by Germany’s Uni­ver­si­ty of Hohen­heim reveals that cli­mate change has severe­ly impact­ed the Serengeti-Mara migra­tion that draws thou­sands of tourists to Kenya every year. The wilde­beest have declined by 60% since 1977. If this trend con­tin­ues, one of Kenya’s major tourist attrac­tions and tourism at large will be dealt a fatal blow, which will direct­ly affect the liveli­hoods of mil­lions of households.

Third­ly, as Kenyans grap­ple with high cost of liv­ing, there is need for devel­op­ing a more cli­mate resilient econ­o­my. The Kenya Cli­mate Change Act states that, ‘the Nation­al Cli­mate Change Action Plan shall address all sec­tors of the econ­o­my.’ This is a mon­u­men­tal task that should now be han­dled through the coor­di­na­tion and stew­ard­ship of the Nation­al Cli­mate Change Council.

The Unit­ed Nations Eco­nom­ic Com­mis­sion for Africa has revealed that cli­mate change impacts are already cost­ing Africa 5% of its GDP every year. A ful­ly oper­a­tional Cli­mate Change Coun­cil will help Kenya to stem this loss and attract increased cli­mate resilient invest­ments. Think green, act green!


About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

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