Governor Otichilo rallies western region counties to mitigate Climate Change

Vihiga Governor Wilbur Otichilo has called on counties within the Lake Region Economic Bloc to pass Bills aimed at mitigating the effects of Climate Change.

Vihiga Governor Wilbur Otichilo has called on counties within the Lake Region Economic Bloc to pass Bills aimed at mitigating the effects of Climate Change.

Otichilo noted that such legislation will ensure that the counties are not caught off guard when climate changes impact.

And in a bid to cope with the erratic climatic conditions, Western region counties have embarked on a mission to mainstream climate change into the county planning and budgeting process.

The initiative being implemented through the 14-member Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) is expected to make the devolved units more resilient to guarantee development and wellbeing of the over 10 million residents.

According to National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Chief Executive Officer James Oduor, climate change has become one of the biggest challenges in Kenya.

“The extended dry period and delayed rainfall experienced across the country this year has demonstrated why we need to put in place necessary measures to proactively deal with the challenges,” he said.

Speaking in Kisumu during the closing ceremony at the end of an intensive nine-day training programme on Climate Change Policy, Planning and Budgeting for county officials, Mr Oduor underlined the need for adoption of innovative and transformative initiatives.

“The traditional ways of coping with some climate-related challenges may no longer be adequate or sustainable,” he said.

The training was delivered by the Kenya School of Government in partnership with the Adaptation Consortium under the NDMA and the Lake Region Economic Bloc.

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo who was the chief guest reiterated that the regional trade bloc will prepare ground for scaling out the County Climate Change Fund (CCCF) mechanism in a more coordinated and sustainable manner.

The CCCF mechanism aims to deliver finance to the most vulnerable communities and strengthening their involvement with planning process.

“This has also resulted in strengthening the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) process, delivery of investments with high adaptation impacts in a cost-effective and efficient manner,” he said.

Initially piloted in Isiolo County, the approach is now being implemented in four other ASAL counties of Garissa, Kitui, Makueni and Wajir, which in total cover approximately 29 per cent of Kenya’s land area and a population of over 4 million.

To effectively support counties interested in establishing the CCCF mechanism, the NDMA in collaboration with other government agencies and wider stakeholders, has developed CCCF scale out strategy that will now guide the process of reaching to more counties while ensuring quality.

LREB Chief Executive Officer Abala Wanga noted that the opportunity will give the member counties an opportunity to jointly address climate change issues.

“The bloc has a shared ecosystem that is threatened by climate change. We do believe in the institutional approach to address this climate change challenge that goes beyond individual county boundaries,” said Mr Wanga.