Restoring Degraded Lands and Utilizing Renewable Energy for Sustainable Water Management in Vihiga County.


Land degradation refers to the deterioration of land quality caused by various factors, leading to a decline in its productivity and ecosystem services. This can also be caused by deforestation, overgrazing, unsustainable farming practices and urbanization. The impact of land degradation includes loss of soil fertility, reduced agricultural productivity, loss of biodiversity and increased vulnerability to climate change. The 2010 Constitution aims  to achieve a tree coverage of at least 10%  of  the land area of Kenya. [1]This target was achieved by 27th May 2022 as announced by former [1]

president Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of the tree-growing fund and campaign in Nairobi. The Former president proceeded to set an ambitious 50% target by 2050. Counties were urged to take on the challenge and strive to reach the new target. Vihiga County located in western Kenya occupies a land size of 563.8 kilometers square and has a population of 625,765 people.

The County has a 37% forest cover due to the different works and partnerships with the Kenya Forest Service. However, just like all other Counties in Kenya, Vihiga faces different challenges related to climate change including floods, landslides and drought.

To support residents, the County has implemented various measures designed to enhance their resilience to climate change and implemented projects targeting the following four key thematic areas.

  1. Strengthening of the legislative framework to guide climate action.
  2. Education and awareness creation for the local community on climate change to help them identify related issues and encourage them to suggest potential solutions.
  3. Developing plans and initiatives at the local level to promote climate resilience and protect the environment.
  4. Establishing an accountable and dependable monitoring and evaluation system. Integrating Geospatial Information System (GIS) technology with County climate and environmental management to enable real-time monitoring of natural resources and conservation efforts.                                                                                                                                                                             In addition to having a County Climate Change Fund (CCCF), collaboration with development partners has allowed the County to expand its resources and implement more comprehensive climate change initiatives. The World Bank's Financing Locally Led Climate Action (FLLoCA) program has consistently supported Counties in enhancing their ability to respond to climate change and implement sustainable local climate action plans.

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