How to prepare for the future of climate change when all you can afford is today

Environmentalist William Ogutu. [File, Standard]

Kenya experienced its worst drought in four decades for the first half of this year. Consequently, four million people faced acute food shortage, forcing the government to redirect part of its budget to salvage the situation.

The image of a flood of dead livestock was a common phenomenon, with cattle prices falling to as low as Sh500, unfathomable on any other day. Unfortunately, current trends indicate that the future looks more grim than bright.

In a report of nearly 8000 pages, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that in 2040, you may be more concerned about the quality of the air you breathe than 'maandamanos'.

So how do we prepare for climate change? First, we need to envision how the future will look. There will likely be more droughts and floods, unbearable temperatures in some regions, insufficient food, frequent power cuts, and unpredictable weather patterns.

While it may be impossible to evade all these impacts, we can make some effort to cushion the blow of climate change.

To prepare for these impacts, you should consider setting up a farm or a home garden to source your food. While a mere myopic mortal may brush this off as insignificant, it may be one of a few moves to save you from a checkmate. Frequent droughts and unpredictable weather patterns will raise the risk of food insecurity.

Secondly, you should consider investing in an off-grid power supply, preferably renewable energy sources like wind and solar. These technologies are the present and future of electricity that will light our cities, run our industries, and power our homes. With a significant portion of Kenya's electricity generated from hydropower, who is to say that climate change will not dry up our rivers?

Thirdly, it may be wise to set up your own water source by drilling a borehole to supply you with all the water you need for domestic use. I will summarise these and other suggestions I have not mentioned by saying, "Be Self-Sufficient!"

This article is not meant to scare you. No, we are not heading for an apocalypse. We are already in one.

- The author is an environmentalist with a BSc in Environmental Education