Sunday, May 29, 2016
Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana speaks during a public participation forum on climate change regulations in Wote Town. The county has been applauded for being the the first in Kenya and Africa to pass a climate change law. PHOTO | KITAVI MUTUA | NATION MEDIA GROUP
By KITAVI MUTUA
Makueni also became the first county to get Sh50 million for resilience building from DFID.
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.
After passing the County Climate Change Fund (CCCF) Regulations, Makueni also became the first county to get Sh50 million for resilience building programmes from United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
The passing of the regulations is significant because it moves the county closer to becoming a sub-national implementing entity capable of accessing and using climate finance including the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which is set to rise to US$100 billion (Sh10 trillion) by 2020.
A session at the UNEA conference where delegates from 172 countries discussed ways of financing climate change was told that the CCCF regulation passed by the Makueni County Assembly was the first of its kind in Kenya and Africa.
Mr Victor Oridi, the Chief Executive Officer of Adaptation Consortium, said the regulations provide a mechanism through which counties and vulnerable groups can access climate finance to build their resilience to a changing climate.
“Communities are organised to work through elected ward adaptation planning committees to identify and prioritise projects based on agreed criteria on climate risk management,” Mr Oridi told the session at the Unep headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi.
The legal framework which is being emulated by Isiolo, Kitui, Wajir and Garissa County governments allows them to access funds from their own budgets and from diverse sources including global, national and private donors.
DFID country director Ian Mills said the Sh50 million is part of venture capital provided for counties to demonstrate what can be achieved in using such funds in a better way.
Mr Mills lauded Makueni for setting the pace for other counties to follow.
“DFID, through the Adaptation Consortium, will support counties to mainstream climate change in planning and implementation,” he said, adding that Kenya should put in place adequate mechanisms to be ready to tap into the GCF.
Governor Kivutha Kibwana said that through the regulations, Makueni County will provide one per cent of development budget or a minimum of Sh50 million every year towards climate change activities identified in the county.
“The regulations give a framework for actors to bring their synergies together for the benefit of the communities in Makueni and we are happy to be the first county to have such,” he said.
Prof. Kibwana said stakeholders will go to the villages to discuss faster implementation of proposed interventions.
Makueni is in Kenya.