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Kenya : New fund to help communities adapt to climate change

26 October 2012, NewsfromAfrica
URL: http://www.newsfromafrica.org/newsfromafrica/articles/art_13630.html


The Climate Adaptation Fund will disburse £500,000 (68.5 million shillings) over the next year in Isiolo County. If successful, the approach could be replicated in other counties of Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands.

Nairobi: The government of Kenya will next week (29 October) launch a new fund to help communities in the north of the country adapt to climate change and other development challenges.

The Climate Adaptation Fund will disburse £500,000 (68.5 million shillings) over the next year in Isiolo County. If successful, the approach could be replicated in other counties of Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands.

The fund will support 'public good type' activities that build community resilience to climate change. Communities in the five pilot wards can suggest proposals to the fund through their ward-level committee. A cross community/government committee at the county level will then assess these proposals.

Initial community suggestions have focused on improving natural resource management through building the capacity of customary institutions. As part of the fund, the launch of a county-wide community radio station also seeks to build resilience by delivering appropriate and accessible climate information to better inform local planning processes.

"For too long emergency responses to extreme weather events in the arid and semi-arid lands have deflected development resources from their proper purpose," says Victor Orindi, climate change advisor to the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Secretariat under the Ministry of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands. "To be effective, local planning now needs to integrate actions for climate resilience. Decentralisation under the new constitution allows this to happen based upon the knowledge of local people and planners."

The Kenyan office of the UK Department for International Development has provided the finance via the UK International Climate Fund, and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has acted as a coordinator and advisor to the Kenyan government.

"This exciting pilot climate adaptation fund will address local development needs and climate vulnerabilities," says Simon Anderson, head of the climate change group at IIED.

"It seeks to empower local people and their institutions to build partnerships with local government, and capitalises on the strong constitutional mandate for community participation in management of natural resources for climate resilience," he adds.

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