- Hazards were identified in an action plan that was created through a public participation exercise.
- Climate public participation is entirely a participatory process.
- To counter prolonged dry seasons due to climatic changes, the people proposed the issuance of early maturing and drought-tolerant varieties and breeds and certified seeds.
Nyamira County residents have identified emerging pests, diseases, invasive weeds and intense and erratic rainfall as major hazards emanating from the current climatic changes.
The locals also identified flashfloods, storms, prolonged dry seasons, and environmental degradation as other imminent hazards threatening them.
These were identified in an action plan that was created through a public participation exercise conducted recently across the twenty wards in the county.
It aimed at assessing climate change and developing a climate change work plan to mitigate its effects.
The Action Plan
The Nyamira County Climate Change Action Plan (NCCCAP) 2023-2028, which the County Assembly of Nyamira has since adopted, has been applauded as the best blueprint to make Nyamira ready to counter the adverse effects of climate change in the future.
Amos Nyaribo, Nyamira County Governor, said that as part of the measures to conserve environment, his government will soon start engaging the locals on the need to uproot eucalyptus trees planted along the streams and replace them with indigenous species.
He was speaking during a two-day training workshop funded by the World Bank’s Financing-Locally Led Climate Action (FLLoCA) Program in Kisumu.
“By adopting this action plan, the county government will be able to measure, track and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help adopt climate adaptation measures for the next five years,” said the governor.
In developing the County Action plan, the Department of Environment, Water, Energy, Mining and Natural Resources coordinated a multi-sectoral working group drawn from sectors highly affected by climate change.
The members were drawn from the Disaster Management, Agriculture, Economic Planning, Gender, Kenya Metrological Department, and Public Health departments in the county.
Others are Lands, Housing, Municipality and Urban Development, Water Services, NEMA and Forestry.
The Process was guided by the Participatory Climate Risk Assessment Report.
Considering the cross-cutting nature of climate change, all players and actors who participated have been considered key institutions that will realize the achievement of strategic objectives within their jurisdiction.
To withstand and recover from the impact of climate change, the county government developed a climate resilience strategy that has the adaptive capacity, social cohesion, and environmental health as key factors contributing to climate change resilience.
“Climate public participation is entirely a participatory process whose structure and plan of operation are local-led, involving local residents from the ward up.
Ward working committees around the mitigation, adaptations and resilience aspects have been established to fulfill its needs,” noted Nyamira County Director of Public Participation, Dan Onyancha.
The identified hazards have in the past shown that Nyamira County would experience dry seasons in the future.
This is from the projected climatic trends that indicate Nyamira shall receive a higher rainfall amount during rainy days and a relatively higher number of dry days during the short rain seasons.
This would increase the impact of climate change being felt by the community.
The action plan indicates that Climate change hazards have contributed to reduced water quality, contributing to increased cases of water-borne diseases.
Most affected population
Older people and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are mainly affected by climate change.
They are found vulnerable to floods, reduced water quality and crop productivity.
“Women are mostly affected by reduced water quantities because, culturally, they are delegated to bear the responsibility of fetching water for domestic use.
Declining water levels in springs and reduced water levels in wells and rivers have exposed women as their main source of water remains affected by climate change because they take more time accessing water and do not have authority over resources within their households,” reads part of the Action plan.
“The Action Plan 2023-2028 can only be as good as it is on paper if there is set a body of laws to fully implement it because it has cross-cutting issues,” said Joel Atuti, a former councilor with the former Nyamira Municipal Council.
Atuti added that there is a need for concerted efforts and continuous civic education on water harvesting to protect the rivers.
Ezekiel Moguche is a native of Manga representing PWDs in the Manga Ward Environment Committee.
He noted that a system be set to encourage locals, more so those using riparian lands, to invest in fish ponds and coffee plantations instead of the current brick-making, which has led to adverse environmental degradation.
“Riparian land is slowly being degraded and practicing fish farming can help put food on the table and protect the environment at the same time,” added Moguche.
For instance, to act against emerging pests, a hazard that seems to cut across the county, the report highlights people’s request for improved and continuous surveillance systems to monitor and report cases of pests and disease outbreaks.
To counter prolonged dry seasons due to climatic changes, the people proposed the issuance of early maturing and drought-tolerant varieties and breeds and certified seeds.
In the long run, these will help reduce crop losses by increasing agricultural productivity.
Previous plans enhanced
This five-year action plan closely advances the needs of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) 2018-2022.
This was a framework linked to the “Kenya National Priority” to enable Kenya to reduce vulnerability to climate change and to improve its ability to take advantage of the opportunities climate change offers.
NCCAP (2018-2022) sets out a vision for low-carbon, climate-resilient development in a manner that prioritizes adaptation.
This plan builds on the first Action Plan (2013-2017) and provides a framework for Kenya to deliver on its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The plan guides the climate actions of the National and County Governments, the private sector, civil society, and other actors as Kenya transitions to a low-carbon, climate-resilient development pathway.
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To help control environmental degradation, Nyamira will encourage afforestation in areas that are prone to adverse erosion and destruction more so during heavy rains.