Sunday, May 19, 2024

Kisumu hands ‘power to fight impacts of Climate Change’ to the people

In Kisumu, the power to fight the impacts of Climate Change now lies with the people.

This follows the launch of community-led Climate Risk assessment in all the 35 wards.

On Tuesday, the County Department of Climate Change hosted a validation exercise for the Climate Change Adaptation Plan piloted in seven wards within Kisumu Central Sub County.

According to Evans Gichana, County Director of Climate Change, the launch of the pilot report gives way for the County-wide rollout of the preparation of the document.

The preparation of the document involves engaging the public in identifying climate risks in their environs, and facilitating them to identify viable interventions.

Pilot Climate Adaptation Plan

Six months ago, the county government, with the support of Slum Dwellers International (SDI) commenced the process of developing a Climate Adaptation Plan.

The pilot exercise targeted the seven wards in Kisumu Central Sub County, which included; Railways, Kondele, Manyatta A, Manyata B, Nyalenda A, Nyalenda B and Central Kisumu.

According to United Nations Climate Change (UNCC), Climate Adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects.

Ksumu is one of the counties which are seriously impacted by Climate Change, and this is the reason why this process was very important and timely to us

Evans Gichana

UNCC encourages countries and communities to develop adaptation solutions and implement actions to respond to current and future climate change impacts.

“Ksumu is one of the counties which are seriously impacted by Climate Change, and this is the reason why this process was very important and timely to us,” said Gichana.

FROM LEFT: Dr Emmanuel Midheme (Urban Planning Expert and a lecturer at Maseno University’s Urban and Regional Planning Department), Evans Gichana (Kisumu County Director of Climate Change) and Rhoda Otieno (Muungano ya Wanavijiji) addressing the press in Kisumu. (PHOTO: Kevine Omollo, LRB)

Technical Experts

Maseno University’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning provided the technical support, through developing of the tools used by the community in data collection and reporting during the development of the document.

Dr Emmanuel Midheme who was one of the lead researchers in the project said the process ensured that communities led the process.

“This was a co-production between us, the community and the other stakeholders, and data was collected from the household levels, in focus discussion groups, interviews among other data collection techniques such as review of secondary data,” he said.

After data collection, the researchers led its collation and analysis, before taking the draft document back to the people to validate.

This takes Climate Adaption to the people. They have to ask themselves what they want to see in their villages in the next five or ten years, and use this document to realise that vision

Dr Midheme

“What we are doing today is the second validation which now widens the scope of stakeholders, including both government and non-state actors,” he added.

Data collected included identifying the forms of impacts of climate change, which include flooding, drought, water scarcity, among others.

The data also looked at the impacts of these phenomenon to livelihoods, infrastructure, social amenities, among others.

Proposed interventions would now look at how to mitigate adverse effects of the impacts of Climate Change, as well as providing solutions to the damages already caused by the phenomena.

County Development Plans

According to Gichana, the Climate Adaptation Plan will then be enjoined in the County Integrated Development Plan, County Annual Plans, Vision 2030, among other government plans to ensure its smooth implementation.

He said the County Government is already implementing the Climate Change Act which provides for allocation of two per cent of the county’s annual budget towards Climate Adaptation.

“This means Kisumu wards will have about Sh100 million for this project, and we expect the people to work closely with the Ward Climate Adaptation Committees to ensure implementation of the community-led adaptation projects,” said Gichana.

“This takes Climate Adaption to the people. They have to ask themselves what they want to see in their villages in the next five or ten years, and use this document to realise that vision,” added Dr Midheme.

Graph showing Kisumu’s daily temperature readings for the month of September 2023 (SOURCE: AccuWeather)

Muungano ya Wanakijiji, a community based network which spearheaded the mobilization of residents in the pilot project noted that te engagement was inclusive, and the resultant document in a reflection of the needs of the communities.

“We have women networks, youth networks, people with disabilities, business people, farmers, and households which ensured that everyone’s voice is captured,” said Rhoda Otieno from the network.

According to SDI, the program is part of its Voices for Just Climate Action, which he said will boost the fight against impacts of Climate Change in the area.

Killion Nyabuga, Project Officer at SDI said the document is timely, as it comes at a time the country is mulling over projected El-Nino rains.

“If this document is put into proper use, we believe Kisumu may handle El-Nino better. The document gives specifics in terms of the impacts of Climate Change, the exact spots, how people are affected, and possible interventions,” he said.

Kevine Omollo
Lake Region Bulletin is your one stop multi-media platform for news from Lake Region Counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Kericho and Bomet. Email: komollo@lakeregionbulletin.co.ke omollokevine@gmail.com

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