Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) in partnership with Caritas Kitui organized a Stakeholders consultative forum on the development of climate change policies. The workshop aims to influence and initiate the development of best-fit climate change policy at the county level that incorporates Natural Resource Management and adopt Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) in its overall approach. Participants from Community based organizations, civil society organizations, National Drought Management Authority, Youth Networks, County Government Ministries (Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Livestock, Ministry of Environment) National Environment Management Authority, Media, Kenya Forest Research Institute, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Meteorological Department and other development partners at the county level were in attendance.
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Deputy Director, Mr. Benjamin Mukulo opened the workshop by acknowledging that climate change is a disaster in Kitui County, and the county must adapt to its’impact.
After devolution, counties were given a lot of responsibilities on issues at the local level, which gives all stakeholders a role to play, including natural resource management. In order for this to be effective, county governments need policies and legislations put in place and implementation by all the stakeholders.
Hon. Charity Ngilu, Governor – Kitui County recently banned sand harvesting and charcoal burning in the county, which was a mitigation measure towards natural resource protection. At the national level, the national assembly passed the county Climate Change Act, 2016, which calls for implementation at the county level. All these require concerted efforts by the county government and all stakeholders to ensure its domestication at the county level.
Currently, all county governments are in the process of putting in place the second generation of County Integrated Development Plans (CIPDs), and this is an opportunity for each county department to mainstream climate change with mitigation measures in these plans.
Going forward, the county needs to bring all the county officials to understand climate change, its causes, the impacts as well the adaptation and mitigation measures.
‘We will all work together to fight all the causes of climate change, like charcoal burning, which many see as a source of livelihoods. The ministry will support livelihood generation activities to fight against charcoal burning, which is one of the major contributors of climate change,’’ the deputy director concluded.
He thanked the development partners, UKaid and Trocaire for their support on the project, and the organizers for bringing together stakeholder’s in Kitui County for such a forum. This engagements will pave way for other similar processes for partnerships at the county level.