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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Laikipia County stakeholders hold meeting on climate change adaptation

By Bob Aston
The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) on December 4, 2014 organized a stakeholders meeting on climate change adaptation at Beisa Hotel, Nanyuki, Laikipia County. The meeting provided an opportunity for ALIN to present the findings of a vulnerability study conducted in Matwiku, Laikipia west, highlight the progress of a project that has been funded by Act! Change! Transform! (ACT) on strengthening community resilience to impacts of climate change in the county and also to discuss the Laikipia County Intergrated Development Plans (CIDP) drawing recommendations from the National Climate Change Action Plan 2013-2017, National Climate Change Response Strategy and recommendations from community consultative meetings that have been conducted in Laikipia county pointing out priority issues and recommendations from the community.

Some of the stakeholders present included; The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), The International Small Group Tree Planting Program (TIST-Kenya), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Ministry of Environment Water and Natural Resources representation from both the national and county government of Laikipia, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Laikipia County Assembly Agriculture, Environment and Water committee.
Mr. Mugo addressing some of the particicpants
Others included; Laikipia County departments of Irrigation, Veterinary and Development Planning, Pure Circle Kenya Ltd, Laikipia Produce and Marketing Co-operative Society and Matwiku Horticulture Growers Self Help Group.

Speaking while opening the workshop, Mr. Anthony Mugo, ALIN Deputy Director highlighted the importance of inclusiveness of all stakeholders in identifying priorities for the county on climate change adaptation options.

He noted that Climate Smart Agriculture which ALIN is implementing with Matwiku Horticulture Growers S.H.G will help reduce climate vulnerability, abate emissions and improve agricultural production.
He informed the stakeholders that ALIN has been producing a publication called Joto Africa which is a series of printed briefings and online resources about adapting to climate change in sub- Saharan Africa and Laikipia Mali Asili which is a newsletter on Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in Laikipia County as platforms where they can share experiences and disseminate information on climate change adaptation and sustainable land management practices.
Mr. Kingori David Kariuki from the County Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock informed the stakeholders that the county government is committed to Climate Smart Agriculture. He said that the county government is currently partnering with other stakeholders to mitigate against the effects of climate change.
“We are looking at ways in which we can mitigate against issues of climate change and other issues dealing with ozone layer depletion, deforestation and loss of biodiversity. We have found that there are consequences of climate change like floods, drought, displacements and disease outbreaks,” said Mr. Kingori.
He noted that issues of environment are not isolated and there are some issues that have to be addressed by both the national and county governments.
Some of the participants posing for a photo
Hon Paul Leshuel, Mukogondo East Ward Member of County Assembly and also the Chairman of Agriculture, Environment and Water Committee in the County Assembly noted that there has been massive destruction of forests in the county as a result of illegal logging, charcoal burning and fuel wood vendors.
He said that the county government has been putting measures in place to mitigate against the effects of climate change. He cited the issuance of 500,000 seedlings to schools and selected farmers in the county as one of the ways that they are helping to reduce the effects of climate change.
“Climate change is real. It has not rained in some places in the county to date and it is also clear that weather forecast has become unreliable,” said Hon Leshuel.
He noted that the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) for Laikipia County had not captured some important areas in the county hence the reason why it will have to be reviewed. He said that this financial year the county government will invest fifteen million shillings in initiating tree nurseries in various areas of the county.
Stakeholders were also informed about the National Climate Change Action Plan 2013-2017 which seeks to enable Kenya reduce vulnerability to climate change, adoption of low carbon development pathway and to improve the country’s ability to take opportunities that climate change offers.

Stakeholders agreed to conduct consultations at Ward level to improve participation, to sensitize communities to participate in county planning and budgeting, to use technology to reach communities and to organize producers into associations. 
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