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Garissa women, youth urge Africa climate summit to focus on ASAL regions

Women and youth in Garissa have urged leaders and delegates of the upcoming Africa Climate Summit to consider developing mitigation measures against climate change in ASAL areas of the country.

The women and youth said that for a long time they have been sidelined in matters of climate change and now want their voices to be heard because they also can come up with solutions of ‘securing the future of the world’.

Led by Glory Kathure of the Action Aid organization, they called for more funding for these regions which have experienced drought, hunger, floods and other natural disasters leaving the residents in poverty.

“We have experienced very hard times due to climate change and the communities continue to be pushed to poverty because they depend mainly on pastoralism which is no longer sustainable due to prolonged drought,” Kathure said.

“We need to come up with new technologies like smart agriculture and agroecology which can sustain the communities in tough times and conserve water. These are some of the measures that will help our people to have food and develop the economy,” she added.

Kathure, speaking at a Garissa hotel on Thursday, said that there is a need to invest more in renewable energy and put plans in place to abandon the use of fossil fuel which is detrimental to the ecosystem.

Abdikadir Hassan, an environmentalist in Garissa, said that the pastoral communities have been most affected by climate change due to pasture and water shortages caused by recurring droughts, food crises and internal displacements of people as they move from one place to another in search for pasture.

Hassan said that with proper mitigation measures, people in these regions can have sustainable livelihoods.

“The government needs to invest more in the nomadic communities because out of the 47 counties, 23 are classified as ASAL. If we don’t take action to address the challenges affecting people in these counties, the impact will spill over to other counties,” Hassan said.

The Africa Climate Summit is set to be held in Nairobi from 4th to 8th September and will bring together Heads of States, policy makers, civil societies and the youth to discuss climate solutions, barriers to overcome and the opportunities realized in different regions of the continent.

By Erick Kyalo

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