The Pan African climate justice alliance (PACJA) is currently in Uganda to explore the possibility of developing a civil society SDGs platform whose objective will be to hold the Ugandan government accountable for the implementation of the SDGs by putting pressure on the government to honour its commitment to the implementation of the Goals.
This will be a first step towards realization of the SDGs in the East African region which has notably reported slow progress in the achievement of these Goals.
This will provide a major boost to the post 2015 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) which intertwine economic, social and environmental aspects to sustainable development. They also feature important additions to the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including climate change, economic inequality, innovation, poverty alleviation, peace and justice.
Strengthening Partnerships for the Effective Implementation of the Agenda 2030 in East Africa
The mission arises from PACJA’s GIZ funded project which aims to accelerate the implementation of SDGs specifically: 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequality); 13 Climate Action; and 17 (Partnerships to achieve the Goal). The project which is being implemented in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is aimed at the achievement of agenda 2030 in East Africa.
Specifically, the project will put in place integrated and coordinated interventions at all levels aimed at strengthening cross-sectoral coordination among line ministries and partnerships between key stakeholders, such as community groups, CSOs, NGOs, the private sector, academia, the media and policy makers to ensure coherence between the SDGs implementation and the Paris Agreement.
Using lessons learnt in Kenya in the Voluntary National Reporting process (VNR), the project will support CSOs in Tanzania and Uganda to report on the progress made on the SDGs implementation and champion for 2030 Agenda to be embedded in the countries’ national political and social process.
Cumulative Achievement of the SDGs
These efforts will collectively contribute to PACJAs efforts in accelerating the implementation of the 17 SDGs which are interconnected. For instance, achievements in Climate Action will impact on availability of Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption and Production, Life Below Water, Health, Gender Equality, Sustainable Cities and Communities; and ultimately Forming Partnerships to Achieve the Goal.
Mr. Augustine Njanmnshi, the Alliance Technical and Political Affairs Chair
The Pan African Climate Justice (PACJA) will Co-Chair the Civil Society Committee of the African Bank in the next two years, till 2020. At a Statutory meeting held at the Bank’s Headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Mr. Augustine Njanmnshi, the Alliance Technical and Political Affairs Chair was unanimously elected in the position, which is crucial in the premier African financial institution’s outreach to civil society. He will Co-Chair the Committee with the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke.
Established in 2000, the AfDB Civil Society Committee seeks to provide the structure for a broader, deeper and more consistent engagement with the CSOs in Africa and beyond, and aims to position the civil society as key partners in development in the continent.
In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Njamnishi, who is also the Coordinator of the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA), thanked the civil society representatives from various thematic groups for having confidence in him and PACJA, and promised to ensure a strengthened collaboration between civil society and the Bank.
“I take this opportunity to salute the personal conviction and commitment of President Adesina Akiwumi who has ensured the engagement of the civil society is not just a rubber stamp, but something real,” he said, appealing to the Bank Management to facilitate further engagement with the civil society beyond the traditional meetings. “In order to ensure continuity,“ he emphasized, “ we request the Bank to facilitate a face-to-face meeting between our team and the outgoing committee so as to build on their strengths as well as shortfalls.”
In spelling his vision in leading the Committee, Mr. Njamnshi promised a transformed relationship with the bank, drawing from PACJA’s convening and outreach power, and particularly connection with the communities. “I know the question on many minds would be what my team do differently,” He noted, “we want to be that committee that believes that the Bank’s name and influence in the communities should not be read on billboards of Projects, that the Bank should be known as the Pan African Institution, that engages, informs, consults and involves the people on the ground in its development efforts.”
The Tuesday 15 January 2019 Civil Society Committee Statutory Meeting was held at the backdrop of the Bank’s increasing recognition of the role of non-state actors in its strategy, which is anchored in the High five Priorities (Light up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa) and ten year strategy (2013 – 2022).
Congratulating the ACSEA Coordinator for clinching the seat, Mr. Benson Ireri, the Christian Aid African Regional Advisor on Climate Change and Energy, who also serves in the AfDB Committee representing International NGOs urged Njamnshi to provide strategic leadership which will bring the Bank closer to the people to ensure its responsive to critical issues such as choices of energy and development paradigm.
“ We particularly look forward to constructive engagement as allies rather than adversaries with the Bank,” said Ireri, “ for instance, a conversation on the choice of energy we should use in the climate-constrained world where the African continent is at the frontline of climate impact is very crucial at the moment.”
The PACJA Executive Director, Mithika Mwenda welcomed the election of Mr. Njamnshi, and assured of the Alliance support in the pursuit of the Committee mandate, “ from the outset, “ said Mwenda, “ the entire infrastructure of PACJA is at the disposal of the Committee to ensure its vision is achieves.”
Climate Finance Thematic Working Group (TWG) was formed to ensure accountability and to facilitate monitoring and tracking of climate finance flow in Kenya. Under the Kenya National Platform on Climate Governance, the group seeks to involve other civil society organizations and non-state actors in understanding and facilitating cross cutting information on Climate Finance Governance in Kenya.
With support from CARE Kenya, TWG held a workshop in Taita Taveta County with an aim of enhancing capacities of the stakeholders on climate finance governance and improving their readiness for the green climate fund (GCF). The workshop spurred conversations on policies, legislations and laws that are relevant in the climate finance space, nationally and at the county level.
The workshop identified the viable points of synergy that can ensure proper and effective linkages between the National Climate Change Action Plan [II] and Taita Taveta County Integrated Development Plan.
The Integrated Programme to Build Resilience to Climate Change and Adaptive Capacity of Vulnerable Communities in Kenya: A case of Taita Taveta
The Adaptation Fund Programme is designed to enhance resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change in Taita Taveta County. The project aims to help communities within the county to respond to effects of Climate Change through integrated water management aimed at enhanced food security.
Kenya was accredited by Adaptation Fund board to access finances from the Adaptation Fund in 2012 through the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). The Authority developed a programme titled, Integrated Programme to Build Resilience to Climate Change and Adaptive Capacity of Vulnerable Communities in Kenya. The programme started in January 2016 and is being implemented in 14 Counties in Kenya.
For effective implementation of the programme, a field implementation committee (FIC) benchmarks the project’s implementation. Each Executing Entity is required to conduct a baseline survey in order to establish benchmark/baseline level for the progress, at the beginning of the programme implementation. FIC is composed of representatives from National Environment Management Authority, Water Irrigations Department, county commissioner, County ecosystems conservator, World vision and school representatives.
One of the key initiatives that NEMA has initiated is construction of roof catchments (and water pans for rainwater harvesting for domestic and agricultural use. The objective of the programme is to establish infrastructure for water harvesting, storage and irrigation targeting 4 schools from each sub-county namely: Kajire Girls Secondary School, Mwakishime Primary School, Orkungu Primary School and Mgeno Primary School. The schools were selected through participatory consultation approach by the ministry of education and other stakeholders. Each of the four schools will benefit from a ferro-cement water tank with a capacity of 50m3.
Rainwater harvesting is particularly important for these groups because:
- Rainwater can be used directly or stored for future use
- Stored water can be used to revitalize the ground level water hence improve its quality
- Stored water can be used to raise the level of ground water making it easily accessible.
- Stored water prevents wells and tube wells from drying up hence increasing soil fertility
- Harvesting rainwater checks surface run off of water and reduces soil erosion.
Each of the schools will also be given woodlots which will be planted by the students on the school
grounds. The woodlots will be beneficial to the school because:
- When mature, they can be used as fuelwood or sold as timber to generate revenue for the school thereby reducing reliance on fuelwood from neighboring forest ecosystems;
- The woodlots form a vital part of the schools’ environmental club and curriculum and act as a live demonstration for forestry and agriculture-related topics;
- The trees can be sold as saplings to the surrounding community thereby generating income for the school;
- Planted around the school, the trees will enhance the school’s beauty;
- The trees will control soil erosion and water run-off.
For effective implementation of the programme, a field implementation committee (FIC) benchmarks the project’s implementation. Each Executing Entity is required to conduct a baseline survey in order to establish benchmark/baseline level for the progress, at the beginning of the programme implementation. FIC is composed of representatives from National Environment Management Authority, Water Irrigation Department, county commissioner, County ecosystems conservator, World vision and school representatives.
Other coastal counties implementing similar programmes are Kilifi and kwale which targets Mangrove and Coral reef rehabilitation.
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