By Matilda Atieno and Millicent Owuoth
The county government is currently scaling up efforts to achieve improved climate change adaptive capacity through the Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Change Action Plan (SEA CAP) program in October November and December across Kisumu.
The program under the partnership with Expertise France seeks to engage the community on building resilience and enhance their knowledge on the seasons forecast through the climate change adaptation approach organized through sensitization workshops in all the seven sub-counties in Kisumu.
The sensitization program targeted over 300 individual farmers, administrators, youths’ businessmen and women, from all the Sub Counties in Kisumu. The program was designed to raise awareness and to share seasonal climate forecast for October, November and December to increase communities’ adaptive capacity with climate variability and change to ensure access to climate information that will enable communities to evaluate risks and make decisions as well as define strategies to protect their livelihoods.
The participants also acknowledged the impact of climate change in Kisumu county’s economic and social development. According to Mr. Antony Kwach a resident of Kisumu East sub-county, the determination to transform Kisumu into a climate-resilient county requires a concerted effort from the government and the community at large. Mr. Kwach called on the county government to support adaptation measures through localizing climate information services and products that consider community perception, local knowledge, livelihood patterns, vulnerability and gender.
Involvement of the community in climate change adaptation measures motivates participation and enhances two-way feedback on initiatives that lead to reduction of climate-related risks and support on sustainable development for the coming season in the agriculture, health, trade and other significant sectors in the county.
Kisumu is one of the vulnerable counties in terms of the impacts of climate change has a complex climate that varies significantly on more intense and frequent floods from season to season. Changes in rainfall patterns have also been noticed with greater rainfall observed during October to December causing immense loss of life and damage to infrastructure and the economy, putting its renowned biodiversity and natural resources under increased pressure.
By harnessing climate information and services for the community the county government will be best placed to provide better services for an increasingly growing community.
Following the enactment of the Kisumu County Climate Change Act, 2020, that seeks to establish the climate change fund, which will help set up Climate information, resilience services and resources to enable the county government through the directorate of climate change to raise awareness, provide platforms for community engagement and creation of local forecast to be disseminated to the communities.
The aim of localizing climate information is to build on the knowledge acquired by the community to mitigate risks and benefit Kisumu in a variable and changing climate.