Kenya loses Sh117b annually to climate change

Kenya: Kenya loses Sh117.6 billion annually due to climate change, mainly because of drought, erratic rainfall and floods.

A report by the World Bank released yesterday confirmed that the country loses of up to 2.4 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year owing to extreme effects of global warming.

Ademola Braimoh, a senior official with the World Bank warned that climate change is becoming a big threat to the national economy and if not controlled might result in more losses. He said the current weather pattern show that drought is happening after every two to three years, unlike before when it was happening after every 10 years.

His remarks followed the release of the improved agricultural meteorological report, a study compiled by the World Bank and other value chain players at a Nairobi hotel. The extreme weather impacts of climate change, he reckons, saw Kenya incur losses to the tune of Sh1.1 trillion ($12 billion) between 2008 and 2011 fiscal years.

He said the delicate weather conditions is made worse by emergence of pests and diseases to animals and plants, raising temperatures and food scarcity among other effects. Ademola advised the Government to change the way it produces and uses metrological data to mitigate against drought effects. The World Bank considers climate change a primary threat to poverty reduction efforts and economic growth.

Kenya he said is among countries in the region that is prone to extreme climate events such as floods and droughts, which has severe impacts on agricultural production. Kenya Meteorological Services acknowledged that dissemination of climatic data has been poor. Bernard Chanzu, an assistant director in charge of forecasting services said in the past, there has been lack of coordinated approach in releasing weather data to users.

“We need an all-inclusive approach in terms of releasing weather data to users, “explained Chanzu.