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Too much talk on preparedness, we need mechanisms to track progress

Health Opinion
 A section of River Isiolo, a tributary of Ewaso Nyiro. [Steve Mokaya, Standard]

The government needs to give importance to adaptation and resilience strategies in addressing the impacts of climate change in Kenya.

President William Ruto has been very vocal and is at the forefront of spearheading climate action in the continent, but what does Kenya have to show to the world in its climate change fight? The growing of trees initiative is commendable and should be encouraged in all counties but immediate workable solutions are needed.

In the past few years, Kenya has grappled with the harshest drought since its independence and at this moment when most parts of the country are experiencing some rainfall, it only makes sense to ask the government the tough questions.

Kenya is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to its dependence on rain-fed agriculture, limited water resources, and exposure to extreme weather events. And with the current discussions going on of having prices of commodities reduced, how can the government assure that the drought which had significant effects on food security, livelihoods and the overall economy won’t come to bite us again?

What is the government doing to ensure that when the rains are over, the country won’t go back to that grave situation? As much as some parts of the country are experiencing rainfall, we all know it is not as heavy and if nothing is done about it, there will be some people suffering in a few months. There has been too much talk and conferences on climate change, climate action and preparedness but which mechanisms are being used to track the progress being made?

In one of my interviews, I was surprised to learn that even a highly-respected policymaker (who I will mention) only relates climate change to the growing of trees. Could this mean that even some of our legislators really do not understand what climate change entails? Should they be the first ones to have training on the subject and how to overcome it?

On my assignments out of Nairobi, over this rainy period, I have seen many counties that still cannot harvest water for their residents for future use. Why is this still not part of the preparedness? Why do we have to have these discussions over and over again? Yet, building such structures cannot cause counties much.

Our legislators and President need to relook at their strategies because the impact is still not being felt even after a team was formed during the COP27 to look into the matter. 

—The author is a communications consultant, media relations expert and  journalist who is passionate about climate change and action


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