• President William Ruto has been very vocal and has shown a commendable drive and passion towards fighting climate change.
• Locally, one of the ways he is doing this is by pushing to have the country plant at least 15 billion trees by 2032.
This week, Nairobi is playing host to the first-ever Africa Climate Change Summit.
This one-of-a-kind event began on Monday, September 4, and will run through to Friday, September 8, 2023.
The event is themed, "Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World."
President William Ruto has been very vocal and has shown a commendable drive and passion towards fighting climate change.
Locally, one of the ways he is doing this is by pushing to have the country plant at least 15 billion trees by 2032.
The president has gone a step further to lobby the African continent and the entire global community to push towards coming up with new approaches towards fighting climate change.
He has been calling for a new financing model, custom-made programs that suit specific regions; in other words, finding local solutions to local problems.
As efforts to tame climate change continue, I want to bring attention to the plight of the group that bears the biggest brunt due to climate change effects such as global warming. The pastoral communities of Kenya.
These communities are mostly based in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) of the country, widely known as the Northern Kenya region. In Kenya, at least 29 counties are classified as ASAL.
With climate change, these regions have become prone to irregular and uncertain weather patterns which expose them to severe droughts. This was the case in most parts of 2022.
The drought then leads to water scarcity and a lack of food for residents to feed their children and animals, since the community is known to keep larger herds of camels, cattle, goats, and sheep among others.
With depleted vegetation and food insecurity, these animals that form a great part of their heritage end up dying.
To those who have the financial muscle their animals can be relocated to other regions but for the majority who cannot, the animals end up dying.
The other lot that can sell their animals for meat end up doing it at throw-away prices.
This also affects their schooling; children have to move with their parents in search of water not much activity can go on.
For girls, others have to be married off for their families to get food or perhaps be able to pay to clear debts they owe. All this is as a result of climate change.
As leaders push for new and local solutions, special attention and more resources should be channelled towards ASAL counties.
These resources should also be put towards finding a permanent solution to what has been years of unpredictable weather patterns in the region.
In February, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) projected that about 5.4 million people would face high levels of acute food insecurity between March and June 2023.
Out of these, 1.2 million people would likely be in the emergency phase (severe case).
What President Ruto has started is a step towards the right direction and he needs our every support, especially from leaders of the northern region.
Development partners attending the Africa Climate Summit have given all indicators that they are willing to partner with us and support in the drive to defeat climate change and this should be our cue.
The writer is a Blogger and Socio-political commentator.