Climate change in Kenya: projections, impacts and way forward

Climate change in Kenya: projections, impacts and way forward

Climate change (CC) poses an ongoing threat to development in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALS) in the
Horn of Africa (HoA) (IPCC, 2012). Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been implementing development interventions in the region for many decades. The effectiveness and sustainability of such
interventions are questionable as Africa is still lagging behind other regions of the world in achieving the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (United Nations, 2011). This calls for a shift in current development
strategies. Increased vulnerability in the region has acquired increased attention to climate change as one of the many obstacles for achieving sustainable development and increasing resilience in the ASALS. This has given rise to a new era for development agencies as they are now attempting to build resilience through mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA).
 
This brief will focus specifically on the significance of mainstreaming CCA into development interventions.
 
Some key findings relevant to Kenya:
  • in 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - released the Fourth Assessment Report. This section highlights some key statements and findings relevant to the Horn of Africa
  • there is high agreement and evidence that Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions will continue to increase over the coming decades
  • warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected over the next two decades
Provided with the trends from this brief, the recommendation for Save the Children is to promote development interventions in the region using a precautionary approach to climate change. This is the only responsible and ethical choice for an organisation that is working specifically towards saving children who are the future generation.

Mainstreaming climate change adaptation does not necessarily incur an increased financial burden on different sectors. It does however involve forward thinking and a shift in approach in terms of going beyond accepting what we are implementing and focusing more on how we are implementing projects. This will require the following:
  • establishing a culture of prevention and mainstreaming DRR/CCA
  • taking an integrated management approach and understanding the current and future context of the region (socio-economic, environmental, and climatic)
  • to ensure sustainability of any intervention, these must be aligned with governments and existing plans
  • advocate for longer term funding in project proposals where building resilience is identified as an overall objective
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