Climate change is considered a global agenda for many decades now and various countries have taken the initiative to domesticate and customize its mitigation and adaptation governance to suit their needs.
Kenya has been on the forefront in developing climate change policies by signing to be a party to the Paris agreement and coming up with NDCs and NCCAP
Having embarked on one of the fastest devolution processes since the promulgation of the new constitution in 2010, the climate justice gospel has trickled to the county level perceived as the grass root where climate change impacts are largely felt.
The county governments have been mandated to come up with County integrated development plans CIDPs, and climate governance stands out to be an area where most counties have identified to be included in the process of making and formulating County integrated development plans
Kakamega County, Under the Lake region Economic block climate governance program funded by DFID over the last one year, has seen the county assembly Environmental committee and the members of the county assembly spearhead the process of formulation of climate change policy, climate change Bill and county climate change fund mechanism establishment head Climate change discourse
The committee mandated to map out major areas affected by Climate change, has pointed out to areas in Agriculture, Tourism, and Energy as sectors that need to be green proofed in order to aid the country
in attaining its interventions
According to the chairman of the county Environmental Committee, Kakamega County is one of the counties that has seriously synergized climate governance as a result of the Lake region economic block climate governance project’s interventions and they are ready to pass the bill once it is on the floor of the house “We need to build the capacity of our farmers to adapt to climate-smart Agriculture and also endorse Clean Energy as a way of improving their yields, and as you also aware Kakamega County is one of the tourists Site in the country as we host Kakamega Forest and the Crying stone, so we have to ensure that our climate is suitable for our Visitors and all this Require Funds. Therefore we have successfully lobbied the County government to set up a climate Fund.”
However pertinent issues in integrating climate change into counties majorly depend on the success stories being spearheaded by the national Government, taking into consideration that the funds are devolved from the central government there is need for the counties to be allowed to negotiate on their own behalf’s on what works for them and the percentage they appropriate for the purpose of addressing the issues of climate change.
It is important to note that the mitigation and adaptation success to climate change is based on the efforts from various institutions both in public and private sectors and this one area that the LREB-CCG project has succeeded in by building the capacity of various institutions within the county government to address the climate change issues which are county-specific.
County governments being agents to the national Government are best placed to help in tackling climate change by implementing projects and programs that aim to be responding to the ever-changing climate at the grass root and Kakamega County has proved that through partnerships this is actually achievable as the now boast of draft climate bills, regulations and policies that are yet to be passed by the county assembly and a county climate Fund that will aid in creating Awareness, Sensitization and building the Capacity of its native residents and as well as ensuring climate-resilient development in the county.