- FAO Representative in Kenya Carla Mucavi says the equipment will support better climate data collection, analysis and management.
- This will in turn lead to more effective policies and strategies to address climate change in Kenya.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has provided ICT equipment worth Sh34 million to counties in an effort to support climate change data collection.
Environment and Climate Change PS Festus Ngeno said there is a need to improve and promote the use of ICT infrastructure in information sharing on environment and climate change issues.
He said equipping of the county climate change units through provision of 124 computers will further enhance their capacities in climate change reporting.
“This is one of the key mandates given to the counties by the Climate Change Act. This will also eventually feed into the national reporting obligations that will enable the government to undertake both domestic and global reporting through the UNFCCC processes,” the PS said.
He said climate change is becoming the new normal with its impacts becoming more evident, frequent and severe. This, he said, is vividly corroborated by science.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change synthesis report released in March 2023, indicates that the average global warming is already 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels.
The report showed that it is important to note that every increment of warming results in rapid escalation hazards with dire consequences to the vulnerable communities, and that without deep and sustained emissions cuts, this trend may go on leading to increased temperatures and further devastating impacts.
The PS noted that the country is just coming from the worst drought in 40 years, yet Kenyans are already experiencing destructive floods.
“This pendulum swing from one extreme event to another seems to be increasing with huge negative impacts to the livelihoods and the economy. Kenya, like most developing countries, is highly vulnerable to climate change and hence the need for provision of adequate and predictable financial support to implement climate action,” Ngeno said.
He said it is necessary to engage development partners through development and implementation of programmes and projects to help the country meet its climate action obligations as outlined in the Nationally Determined Contributions and National Climate Change Action Plan.
“The support this project provided to build technical capacity of all the county climate change units officers is core if the country is to sufficiently implement the NDC and the NCCAP. Counties need to be supported since this is where the rubber meets the road in terms of climate change impacts,” Ngeno said, adding that counties require more support.
He said the support to development of training curriculum that is anchored at the Kenya School of Government will ensure sustained capacity building of public technical officers in the country.
FAO Representative in Kenya Carla Mucavi said the equipment worth Sh34 million ($248,175) has been procured under the National Adaptation Plan Readiness Support Project.
The National Adaptation Programme is a strategic process that enables countries to identify and address their medium and long term priorities for adapting to climate change.
The NAP helps countries to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change and to integrate adaptation in development decision making.
The country’s first national adaptation plan was built on the foundation laid by the National Climate Change Response Strategy (2010) and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) 2013-2017.
Actions in the NAP were aligned with Kenya’s 2016 Nationally Determined Contributions and the updated 2020 NDC.
Mucavi said the project is implemented under a Sh408 million grant from the Green Climate Fund that was approved in 2018. The project sought to enhance capacity for planning and effective implementation of climate change adaptation in Kenya.
“It is envisaged that the ICT equipment will improve climate data management as a key prerequisite for Kenya to undertake both domestic and international reporting obligations and address climate change and its impacts,” Mucavi said.
The FAO Kenya boss emphasised the critical importance of data and information management in addressing climate change.
“Accurate and reliable data is crucial for monitoring and assessing the impacts of climate change, and for making informed decisions about climate action,” she said.
She added; “The equipment will go a long way in supporting better climate data collection, analysis and management, which in turn will lead to more effective policies and strategies to address climate change in Kenya.”
Nyambura Njaramba, Head of Planning and Strategy at the Council of Governors said the project was developed with the goal of enhancing capacity for planning and effective implementation of climate change adaptation in Kenya.
She said in tandem to the process, the County governments have developed County Climate Change legislations including climate change action plans to prioritise mainstreaming of climate change adaptations and mitigation.
In addition, counties have established county climate change planning committees at subcounty and ward levels.
“This gives the public a voice in determining the climate change priorities within their communities. In the process of analysing and assessing the climate vulnerabilities and risks, counties are able to prioritise locally led climate adaptation and mitigations. Thus the NAP project provided the requisite capacity for counties to identify, prioritise, implement and track the adaptation actions,” she said.
Njaramba noted that all the 47 counties have climate change units in place and the focus is now to building capacity of the units to undertake climate duties including mainstreaming climate change actions.
“In this regard, the handover of laptops and desktops is an enabler to the NAP process with the aim of strengthening the systems, processes and capacities needed to make adaptation an integral part of a counties development planning, decision making and budgeting,” Njaramba said.