New study points the way for local-level climate action in Kenya
A new Clim-Eat study provides a series of recommendations for strengthening action on climate change at the local level in Kenya. The first report in our Harvesting climate action across Kenyan counties series focuses on Makueni County, in Kenya’s semi-arid south. Makueni is already experiencing prolonged droughts, higher temperatures and unpredictable rains. With most farmers practicing rain-fed agriculture, continued changes in precipitation are likely to result in short-term crop failures and long-term declines in agricultural production.
However, the county already has what the study describes as a “robust” climate change policy – the co-called Climate Change Fund (CCF). This allows the allocation of 1% of its annual budget to promote climate change adaptation and mitigation. Makueni also aligns its local-level plans with Kenya’s Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans to support it access to climate finance.
Despite this, the study flags several gaps preventing implementation of the county’s climate change plans.
The Clim-Eat research team held focus group meetings with 28 farmers from different parts of Makueni County, ensuring they covered areas with different environmental conditions. They included representatives of women’s farming group, a youth farming group, and model farmers known as village-based advisors (VBAs). The team also interviewed implementation agencies from the public and private sectors, as well as officials from the county government and representatives from Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
The conversations resulted in a series of recommendations aimed at supporting implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation practices, and boosting the resilience of farmers in the region. These range from improving the county government’ communication on climate issues with the general public, to developing models for managing climate funds, to incorporating education on climate change into school curricula. The team will organise followup engagements with stakeholders involved in the study to jointly develop action plans based on these recommendations.