• Lack of funds hampers counties from fighting adverse effects of climate change.
• Senior county officers from Lake region bloc undergo training on climate change policy, planning and budgeting.
Fourteen counties under the Lake Region Economic Bloc have called on the government to allocate funds to mitigate effects of climate change.
Vihiga Governor Wilbur Otichillo said lack of funds continues to hamper counties from fighting the adverse effects of climate change.
“The government needs to set aside money for the 14 counties to put mitigation measures in place,” he said in Kisumu.
The member counties are Kisumu, Vihiga, Busia, Kakamega, Bomet, Nandi, Kericho, Bungoma, Homa Bay, Siaya, Nyamira, Kisii, Migori and Trans Nzoia.
Otichillo said the region, which hosts the endangered Mau ecosystem and Lake Victoria, requires sufficient funding under the Climate Change Fund to put up programs and interventions.
He spoke during the closing of training for senior county officers from the bloc on climate change policy, planning and budgeting.
The officers drawn from the 14 counties were equipped with skills and knowledge to mainstream climate change into county planning and budgeting processes.
They underwent training using the Kenya School of Government climate change management curriculum with topics like climate change response actions, national and sub-national policies and legislation and climate financing.
The Climate Change Fund under the National Treasury came into being through enactment of the Climate Change Act 2016 to provide a financing mechanism for climate change actions and interventions.
Otichillo said LREB members will petition the government to allocate funds to mitigation programs.
“In our next LREB summit, we are going to develop a position paper and push it through the Council of Governors to petition the Treasury to allocate money from the climate change kitty to the 14 counties,” Otichillo said.
The governor noted that climate change has affected food production in the region with a population of about 16 million people.
He also challenged counties to enact climate change laws to facilitate proper ways of dealing with the problem.
“We want laws in place to mandate the allocation of funds within the county budget lines to mitigate the effects of climate change,” Otichillo said.
He said the bloc has prioritised climate change as a major issue which requires concerted efforts to mitigate the effects.
“Counties have no option but to come up with innovative ways to live with climate change as well as agricultural techniques,” Otichillo said.
The bloc, he said, will collaborate with the government to step up conservation efforts in the Mau ecosystem and Lake Victoria.
Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili said counties have developed climate change policies and finance bills that show the commitment that the national and county governments have towards addressing the crisis.
“Climate change is regarded as a key environment and development challenges globally. It is important for every citizen, county and the nation to act now,” he said.