By Matilda Atieno
The County Government of Kisumu rolled out a vetting exercise for the formation of the Ward Climate Change Planning Committee intended to be representative of the community with different interest groups given a seat at the table.
According to the Kisumu County Climate Change Act, 2020 section 18, the Climate Change Directorate initiated a public participation exercise for vetting of the committees following the Governor’s notice on 9 November 2022.
The exercise kicked off in all 35 wards in the county to identify community representatives to be incorporated into the committees. The five positions vetted included representatives of the youth, marginalized gender, PWD, a climate change expert and a CBO representative.
The vetting teams was led by directors of Environment and Climate Change, legal officers from the county attorney, environmental committee clerk from the assembly, representatives from the public participation office, representatives from CBOs (YWCA & Slum Dwellers International-SDI), and environment and climate change officers.
According to the director Climate change, Mr. Evans Gichana, the exercise was conducted successfully in 34 wards while Nyalenda B ward rescheduled after the public failed to nominate their representatives.
In 2021 government of Kenya introduced County Climate Change Fund where the County Governments including Kisumu will be able to create access to and use climate funding thus the formation of community-led committees to spearhead the prioritization of tangible actions to aid build community resilience to climate change.
In fulfilling their roles, the ward committees shall aid in ensuring active community participation in climate change discussions and actions as well as support in preparing community members for disaster management. The ward committee will further ensure the county climate resilience fund trickles down transparently. The climate change fund is set to facilitate counties to access and utilize climate finance from different sources to build communities’ resilience and reduce vulnerabilities to a changing climate in a more efficient way.