Erratic weather patterns being experienced across the country continue to be a major concern to farmers and conservationists.
From global warming, rise in temperatures in the Polar Regions, rising seawater and emergence of new diseases related to climate change, the world can adapt and exploit novel opportunities that are associated with environmental change.
Such opportunities can be utilised to create decent jobs through diverse practical actions to adapt to or mitigate climate change
During a climate stakeholder’s forum in Voi, Taita Taveta County, Monday, one of the issues emphasised was climate-change mitigation measures and the potential to develop sustainable climate change enterprises that could create employment opportunities in the County.
The participants, who included representatives from the County Administration, Red Cross and Special Interest Groups, explored various ways the residents could be supported in creating decent jobs and boosting environmental resilience.
The activities proposed ranged from soil and water conservation to reforestation and use of green energy.
County Director of Youth, Sports, Gender, Culture and Social Services Wallace Mwaluma, said that investing in renewable energy, sources such as solar energy is a good opportunity, especially for people in Arid and Semi-Arid areas.
He also added that investment in water infrastructure in Taita Taveta County, which suffers significantly from inadequate access to clean water as a direct impact of climate change, needed prioritizing.
“Unpredictable weather patterns have presented a challenge in planning adequately by farmers and right now we should be thinking of how we can be able to create jobs, through sustainable climate change enterprises, like green energy,” he noted.
There was also a proposal for new methods for conservation, purification and supply of water that can create business opportunities across the County.
Additionally, experts maintained that addressing climate change, would require proper management of the planets’ natural assets and making some adjustments, including planting Carbon dioxide (CO2) tapping trees to enhance the environments’ capacity to absorb carbon-dioxide emissions.
This presented an opportunity for people to invest in carbon dioxide- tapping tree nurseries and in turn boost reforestation efforts.
Kenya Government aims to attain a 10 percent tree cover by next year. Currently, the national tree cover is at seven per cent.
The meeting also debated on enhancing awareness, improving productivity and strengthening the value chain for drought tolerant crops such as groundnuts, which have high resilience under extreme weather and can potentially improve people’s income.
Climate change remains one of the key development issues, with the National Government making significant interventions to respond to adverse effects associated with this challenge.
These interventions include investment on mitigation measures and adaptations that are crucial in strengthening the resilience of communities impacted by climate change across the country.
In Taita-Taveta, the Department of Environment has drafted a County Climate Change Bill that aims to mainstream climate change issues in budget formulation and county development plans.
The Bill intends to cascade the issues of climate change and adoption of mitigation strategies to the Ward level.
There will also be formation of a Climate Change Fund that will be used to finance activities related to conservation of environment.