Counties Benchmark in Kitui over the Climate Change Fund Legislation

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A number of counties have finished a two-day benchmarking tour of Kitui following the successful enactment of the Kitui County Climate Change Fund{KCCCF} by the assembly last year.

 

Cognizant to the fact that the agricultural sector contributes to 70 percent of GDP in the country in general, counties are developing ways of building resilience to the effects of climate change that have negatively impacted agricultural productivity in different regions.

 

Kitui’s decision to ban charcoal burning in January last year, which has since been adopted countrywide followed a ban on sand harvesting as key activities that had adversely affected the county’s climatic conditions.

 

The Directors of Communication visiting Kitui included among others Kilifi, Kwale, Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Machakos that want to put climate change at the centre of development planning and help vulnerable communities adapt to adverse weather patterns.

Only 5 of the 47 counties have allocated funds to deal with climate change and the amount is only one to two per cent of their annual budget.

 

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Kitui, Makueni, Wajir, Isiolo and Garissa have established county climate change funds, while the remaining are yet even as the effects of climate change continue to stroke the country.

 

The county identified sources of money for the programme as the amount appropriated by the Kitui County Assembly, grants and donations, endowments and bequests, monies from any other source as approved by the County Executive Committee Member for the time being responsible for Finance and all monies received, savings and accruals to this fund and any balances not spent at the end of the financial year which shall be held in the Fund to be used in subsequent years for purposes for which the Fund is established unless County Executive Committee Member for the time being responsible for finance directs otherwise.

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According to the KCCCF, the initial capital for the fund shall be at least two percent of the County annual budget appropriated by the County Assembly.

The county focusses on construction of earth dams, sand dams, rock catchments and borehole rehabilitation to curb water scarcity in the county.

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12 projects have been piloted in 10 wards by the county government in partnership with the Anglican Development Services {ADSE} among them Mikuyuni earth dam in Kitui West, Kamuyuni in Mwingi West, Kyandeve earthdam in Kitui East and Itukisya in Ikutha – Kitui South.
Kitui Director for Environment Fred Kimwilu said the Ministry is overseeing implementation of climate programs and projects and coordinating capacity building activities at ward and county levels in collaboration with ADSE.

 

ADSE Project Officer on environment and climate change in Kitui Sam Mwendwa said the agency focusses on facilitating communities to realize secure livelihoods characterized by adequate food supply, potable water, stable incomes and resilience to climate change among others.
ADSE is involved in supporting livelihoods through integrated initiatives in areas of Water Hygiene and sanitation; Environmental Conservation; Health; Agriculture; Advocacy and Social development which are dependent on each other as they impact on food security and climate change and operates in Eastern region of Kenya.

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Tandasi Ngui, an elderly man in Mwingi’s Migwani area boasts of the teamwork between the county government and ADSE in responding to vulnerable communities that he says will have a greater impact if sustained.

“This water harvesting project here is of great help to the community. We’d appreciate more of such programmes”. He says.

The projects have supported the communities in improving micro farming, water collection and environmental conservation in different parts of the county.

The regulation enacted in Kitui shall exist for a period of ten years after which the authority to extend the fund lifespan to a period greater than ten years shall be sought from the County Executive Committee and the County Assembly.
The projects are also funded by UKaud and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency {SIDA} through the Adaptation Consortium.

 

The meeting in Kitui drew attendance of officials from the Council of Governors, Kenya School of Government representative, Directors of Communication and the County Ministry of Environment.

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