Turkana County could soon join the counties which have enacted a legislation that will unlock funding for climate change mitigation.
Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro on Wednesday led a team of senior county officials in a meeting with members of the County Assembly committee on Water, Environment and Natural Resources, aimed at sensitizing the MCAs on the contents of the Bill and hopefully get the buy in of the committee before the Bill undergoes public participation and thereafter it is tabled before the county assembly for debate.
Lotethiro said the passage of the bill, policy and regulations will unlock donor funding for climate change programmes in the county.
“I have instructed technical staff from the department to address all concerns on the provisions of the bill to enrich the understanding of MCAs on the bill which will then inform the next stages of its legislation including discussion when the bill is tabled at the floor of the house and community participation forums,” he said.
The bill will provide for legal and institutional framework for the adaptive and mitigative climate change interventions.
He said the World Bank-funded programme on Financing Locally Led Climate Change Action (FLLCCA) required that the county passes the Climate Change Bill, policy and regulations. The programme aims to support the government of Kenya in strengthening local resilience to the effects of climate change and will include decentralised financing on community-led actions, technology and innovations.
The Deputy Governor said the programmes will focus on grassroots projects proposed by local communities themselves, thus boosting sustainability and impact.
World Food Program (WFP) Head of Lodwar Office Ruth Amatola said the organisation was investing to build community resilience to climate shocks. She explained that shift from relief food distribution was meant to build community resilience and capacity to manage effects of climate change.
On his part, Chief Officer for Water, Environment and Mineral Resources Moses Natome said the forum will provide an opportunity for the committee members to get sufficient information on the bill to aid in its speedy passage. He urged the partner organisations to similarly support implementation of the bill once enacted.
Director of Environment Clement Nadio said the piece of legislation was a requirement of the national Climate Change Act of 2016 which requires all County Governments mainstream climate change in their development planning.
Stakeholders in the environment sector among them Trocaire, UK Department for International development, Caritas, residents and other civil societies last year in September launched three climate change documents that would be forwarded to the county assembly for consideration and approval.
The partners had been implementing a project dubbed Promoting Ecosystem Based Adaptation Approaches to climate change and Governance in Turkana County funded by DFID from November 2018 to September 2020.
County assembly chairman of the environment committee James Abei said he would lobby his colleagues to ensure the three legislations are enacted.
“We are aware of the funding challenges to climate adaptation issues and as a member of the county assembly I want to assure you that we shall do our part and enact the legislations,” said Abei.