Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Home > Counties > Kisumu County unveils climate change committees

Kisumu County unveils climate change committees

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o has launched the Climate Change and Environment Committees at the ward level to play a critical role in addressing the challenges of climate change in Kisumu County.

The development of the Rapid Climate Change Act 2020, Nyong’o noted, is one of the positive achievements the county has made to build a robust understanding of climate risk and uncertainty.

“The Ward Climate Change Planning Committees are expected to encourage people to participate fully in the planning, budgeting, and implementation of local climate change and adaptation projects,” Nyong’o said.

He further pointed out that climate change has had devastating effects on communities. Notably, Prof. Nyong’o noted that the community members who understand these problems are the ones who can come up with homegrown solutions.

The county boss challenged the committee members to be dedicated to their work at the grassroots level and to be champions in attaining the 10 per cent tree cover and climate change adaptations.

“The county, by national statistics, only has 3 per cent tree cover because a huge chunk is occupied by rice and sugarcane farming. Therefore, it’s our collective duty to strive to increase the percentage,’’ he emphasised.

The established committees are expected to monitor and engage the technical interest in ensuring value for money and programmes. Pointedly, they should primarily conduct a Participatory Climate Risk Assessment to renew the needs of county climate resilience investments.

The committees have been gazetted to work for a three-year term and were urged to lead in the line of restoration, management, and adaptation and actively participate in the implementation of the County Integrated Action Plan 2023–24.

“We expect you to deal with illegal mining and quarrying and the illegal dumping of sterile waste. It is your responsibility to come up with an office governing the quarries and filling them up. The quarry operators should be licensed under very strict procedures and be competitive,’’ Nyong’o reiterated.

To fully achieve compliance in the mining fields, he stressed that they will collaborate with the National Environmental Authority (NEMA) to ensure the sanity, sustainable use, and management of natural resources.

Nyong’o said that his administration has set aside a 2 per cent maximum gratification of land that is meant to support the local communities and the residents in terms of climate change impacts.

They expect to identify more priority areas for investments and maximise value for money. The local leaders were called upon to encourage policies that traverse more than one ward or sub-county and pass bills that promote climate change.

Kisumu County Director, NEMA, Leonard Ofula, applauded the move, saying it will go a long way in ensuring all the environmental conservation aspects are taken care of.

He added that NEMA will focus more on using the Sustainable Solid Waste Management Act because they are expecting the committees from the grassroots to segregate their waste before it is disposed of at the dumpsites. They will also ensure that quarrying (murram and sand harvesting) is done in a sustainable manner.

“The County Environmental Committee is multisectoral and is chaired by the CECM Water and Environment, while NEMA heads the Secretariat for adequate coordination. We are going to work with all the sub-counties in Kisumu to timely address all the emerging environmental issues after meeting and discussing the mitigating ways,’’ he clarified.

By Vera Okumu and Rolex Omondi

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