He said the rainfall patterns have been constantly changing, with seasons becoming harder to
predict. There has also been increased humidity and increased wind speed, factors which he says
confirms global warming and calls for action plan to combat the effects.
“This, currently is a global debate and areas adversely affected are Arid and Semi-arid areas
which urgently need to adapt to Climate-Smart technologies to combat the changing climates,” Dr
He said the high humidity being experienced impacts on crop and animal production, also reducing
the yields in areas that historically were agriculturally rich, while also adversely affecting
areas that are drier.
In arid and semi-arid areas, which is predominantly pastoral, pasture is becoming a challenge
even as rainfall becomes more erratic. When it rains however, it pours and sink down quickly,
also leaving behind a dry land.
“Scientists and researchers, not only in the Country, are working on a number of climate-smart
technologies that will ease the response to changing climates among farmers and also boost
production. The growing population require food, which is becoming scarce and that is why
professionals too, are developing adaptation strategies that will help people cope with it,” he
Among the initiatives he recommends should be adopted include water harvesting-to last seasons
when rains will be scarce and also adopt resilient livestock in ASAL areas. Reducing the large
number of livestock, he adds, is another way to cope with the changing climates as feeds will
become more scarce.
Planting crops that mature in a short period, he said, is also one of the adaptation strategies
among farmers as well as afforestation initiatives.
According to Solar Impulse Foundation, an international organisation offering solutions to
climate change, the earth is steadily warming up as a result of increasing greenhouse gases,
also changing climatic conditions.
“Each of the last three decades has been warmer than all previous decades since the beginning of
the statistical surveys in 1885,” Solar Impulse Foundation noted.
Cutting down of trees that primarily help regulate climate by absorbing carbon dioxide from
atmosphere leads to increase of gases being released without absorption.
Intensive farming that incorporates a lot of pesticides herbicides and fertilizers also produce
emissions are part of the larger list of activities that contributes to greenhouse gases.
Poor waste disposal, a common phenomenon in most of the Counties, researchers say, also
contributes to greenhouse gases. Whereas burning and incineration of waste in a common in most
dumpsites across the Country, these activities results in emission of toxic gasses, which too,
lands in the atmosphere.
Dr Charles Mutai, director of Climate Change at the Ministry of Environment and Natural
Resources, climate-related disasters including floods and droughts are more frequent and their
impacts adversely affecting economy in the country.
“With an economy that is dependent on climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, water,
energy, tourism, wildlife, and health, the changes in the country’s climate were singled out as
severe threats and adaptations need to be put in place,” Dr Mutai said.
Dr Mutai said most climate change-response actions aimed at increasing food security take place
in the agriculture sector, including action relating to crops, livestock and fisheries.
According to the National Climate Change Action Plan 2018-2022, temperature rise spanned across
all seasons, and rainfall patterns has changed.
Climate change, as stated in the Action Plan, has increased the frequency and magnitude of
extreme climate events in the Country, leading to loss of lives, reduced crop and livestock
production, damaged infrastructure, among other adverse impacts.
The torrential rains that caused severe flooding witnessed from between March and May last year
were singled out as events that devastated communities who are were then struggling to recover
from a prolonged drought.
It is projected that climate change could negatively impact on crop yields in Kenya, with yield
reductions of up to 45percent expected for maize, rice, and soybean crops by 2100, and yield
losses of up to 40 per cent for tea and coffee. This, as noted in the plan, is as a result of
reduction in suitable areas for cultivation, caused by temperature increases.
It is also projected that livestock numbers could decline as water resources become increasingly
Dry weather conditions in 2017, as noted in the Action Plan, led to declines in the production
of most agricultural commodities. Despite the area under tea production having been increased,
tea production decreased by 7 percent in 2016 compared to 2017 while production of maize
declined by 6.3 per cent the same year. Cattle being slaughtered and attributed to drought as
farmers slaughtered to cushion themselves from losses rose by 5.3 in 2017.
The quantity of fish from fish farming decreased from 15,000 metric tonnes in 2016 to 12,000
metric tonnes in 2017, because farmers did not re-stock fish ponds due to high prices of inputs,
and the drying up of ponds due to drought.
The same year (2017), it is noted in the action plan that the prices of maize, sugar, rice, and
milk hit record highs with the price of one kilogram of sugar increasing from an average Sh 118
in 2016 to Sh 138 in 2017.
“Pastoralists are negatively impacted because extreme climate events lead to reduced pasture and
availability of forage, degradation of the environment, and increased poverty. Strong winds and
dust storms erode top soil, making grass and rangeland regeneration difficult even when it
rains,” part of the National Climate Change Action Plan read.
Recurring droughts is noted to have forced an estimated 30per cent of livestock owners out of
pastoralism in the past 20 years while the fishing communities report that increasing
temperatures impact fish breeding and fish distribution.
Climate change is also causing storms and rougher seas, which prevents fisher communities from
earning a living and obtaining fish for sustenance.
Stakeholders noted that Sh 1.7Million will be required to deliver NCCAP 2018-2022. Sh 289,093
million will be required in the 2018/2019 financial year while Sh 408,424 million in the
2019/2020 fiscal year.
Sh 486 Million is planned for 2020/2021 fiscal year while Sh 352 Million will be used in the in
the 2021/2022 financial year and Sh 248 million in the 2022/2023 fiscal year.
Additionally, the Climate Change Directorate will require approximately Sh 350 million annually
to ensure effective coordination and delivery 2018-2022 climate change Action Plan.