Vihiga Governor Wilberforce Ottichilo has called on the National Government to implement the Climate Change Act legislated in 2016 to help tackle environmental issues related to climate change in the country.
Governor Ottichilo said establishment of a climate change council to be chaired by the president and creation of the climate change fund by the Treasury as outlined by the act are some of the key aspects that had not been operationalized despite enactment of the law five years ago.
He called for the implementation of the legal framework saying the country was losing out in the fight against climate change.
“There is a need to have the climate change council and fund in place. There is a lot of money for climate change from donors and partners and if the law is implemented, we can get funds,” said the Governor.
Ottichilo was speaking on Wednesday at the People with Disability centre (PWD) in Wote town during the launch of a tree planting drive by the Council of Governors (COG) in conjunction with the Makueni County Government ahead of the devolution conference to be held in August at the Makueni Boys.
The 7th annual devolution conference will focus on climate action and in particular the role of county governments in climate action.
The Governor who is also the chair of the COG Committee on Environment disclosed that 19 counties had so far planted three million trees as a way of combating climate change while 30 other counties had committed to plant seven million trees by the end of the April-May rains.
He lauded the Makueni County Government for being the first devolved unit in the country to pass the climate change fund regulations in 2015 and added that the COG was using the Makueni model climate action plan to roll out similar initiatives in all the 47 counties.
Ottichilo said the World Bank in collaboration with COG will in September launch a Sh37 billion programme to support counties to tackle issues relating to climate change. “Climate change is the single most threat to human mankind, despite the challenges it also avails opportunities that governments and communities can exploit,” he added.
Speaking at the same event Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana called for the establishment of a seed fund for the county governments that can be utilized to fight climate change. Also in attendance was Makueni Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau.
By Roselyne Kavoo