Kakamega climate action plan to gobble up Sh5 billion, says Barasa

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa tries his hand on cycling during the launch of Climate Change Action Plan at Mung'ang'a in Mumias East. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Kakamega county is set to allocate Sh5 billion for climate action plans aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change on its residents.

This initiative will be executed through ward climate change committees, covering 12 constituencies in the county, over the next five years.

During the launch of the Kakamega County Climate Change Action Plan at the Mung'ang'a waste-to-energy grounds in Mumias East, Governor Fernandes Barasa said the budget for the 2023/2024 financial year includes Sh109 million dedicated to combatting climate change.

Barasa emphasised, "The county will require Sh5 billion to implement the climate change action plan, with a substantial portion of the funding expected from the Financing Locally-Led Climate Action Programme (FLLoCA), climate change investment grants, and county allocations."

The governor also acknowledged receiving Sh22 million in county institutional support grants, with expectations of an additional Sh137 million in support grants in line with the county's plans.

"This funding will support a range of activities, including enhancing the capacity of the Osindo Dam Water Project in Likuyani sub-county with an allocation of Sh15 million. The dam will serve the Kongoni and Sango wards," said Barasa.

The governor also inaugurated the ward climate change committees, the Kakamega County Climate Change Secretariat, the County Climate Change Technical Working Group, and the County Climate Change Steering Committee. These bodies will oversee the implementation of the climate action plan and address the impacts of El Nino rains.

"These committees will ensure the effective mobilization and allocation of resources for climate change initiatives at the grassroots level," he affirmed.

The county is committed to supporting various projects, including allocating Sh25 million for the fencing of Kakamega Forest in Shinyalu, allocating Sh15 million to renovate and solarise the Savona water plant to ensure a reliable supply of clean water to Kakamega town residents, and providing Sh15 million in support for the Mumias East Water Project.

Earlier this month, during the Africa Climate Change Summit in Nairobi, Kakamega secured Sh200 million from the World Bank under the (FLLoCA) programme.

Barasa said these funds will play a pivotal role in the development and execution of tailored climate resilience strategies designed to address the risks identified by local communities.

"We are committed to making a positive impact, and capacity building will significantly support the initiatives we have launched, such as tree planting and the conservation of natural resources," he said.

The funds from the World Bank, along with contributions from the governments of Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden, will be channeled through the National Treasury and subsequently allocated to the county for the implementation of the project.

Barasa highlighted that Kakamega county is among the devolved units that have qualified for the FLLoCA funding programme.

According to the World Bank, to be eligible for climate financing, a devolved unit must have established a county climate change fund, a county Climate Change Unit, and conducted a participatory climate risk assessment in the wards. "We are eligible for this funding. We are optimistic that we will fulfill the fund's purpose."