Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kenya needs $3 billion to start climate war

Dave Opiyo in the Daily Nation (Kenya): Kenya requires at least $3 billion to roll out the first phase of its climate change response strategy. Environment minister John Michuki said this will, however, shoot up to $20 billion by 2030 as the war intensifies. Like other developing countries, Kenya has been severely hit by the negative effects of climate change and has been experiencing the worst drought in three years. Mr Michuki was speaking in Copenhagen, Denmark on the strategy the government will take to tackle climate change.

The strategy was developed following six months of consultations where more than 5,000 representatives of civil society, the private sector, media, indigenous communities and faith-based organisations, among others, gave their views.

The document says emphasis will be placed on key sectors of the economy which include health, agriculture, fisheries, tourism and energy. “We have determined what we must do to combat climate change. These are actions that must be taken immediately. This is an ambitious and comprehensive programme. It will not only address the adverse impacts of climate change on Kenya, but will also contribute to taming global warming,” said Mr Michuki.

According to the strategy, the government intends to build health centres for pastoralists and recruit 24,000 staff to boost public health services in the country. This was because of an increase in climate change-driven “nomadism”, cross-border migration and spread of diseases to new territories.

The government will spearhead the switch from largely rain-fed to irrigation agriculture and cultivation of drought-resistant crops. In the water sector, priority will be given to new dams and water pans and protection of catchment areas like the Mau. At least 7.6 billion trees will be planted in the next 20 years…..

The Ngong Hills in Kenya, shot by Rotsee2, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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