Localizing Climate Resilience and Adaptation in Marsabit County.


The global discourse on climate change encompasses a wide array of stakeholders, ranging from international organizations, both levels of government and local communities. These diverse entities are collectively mobilizing efforts to adopt and implement localized solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

In 2016, the Government of Kenya enacted the Climate Change Act. Subsequently, in 2018, the National Climate Finance Policy was adopted. Then followed the establishment of the Public Finance Management (Climate Change Fund) Regulations (2016) under the Public Finance Management Act (2012).

This prompted devolved governments to enact the County Climate Change Act and institute County Climate Change Funds which can be funded through County development budgets, national climate funds or support from in-country bilateral and multilateral development partners.

A key collaborator in this endeavor is the World Bank, through the Financing Locally Led Climate Action (FLLoCA), a five-year project dedicated to implementing climate resilience measures guided by local initiatives and enhancing the capacities of County Governments to handle climate-related risks. The FLLoCA project focuses on empowering local stakeholders, including the Ward Climate Change Planning Committees (WCCPCs) at the ward level to expedite climate action.

The project operates through two grants. The Climate Change Institutional Support Grant (CCIS)  encourages Counties to establish legal, institutional and organizational frameworks to effectively budget, plan and implement Climate Change Adaptation initiatives while the Climate Change Resilience Investment Grant (CCRI)  is a performance-based funding where allocation of resources to a County for Climate Change Action (CCA) investments is contingent on its performance relative to other Counties (the higher the performance, the greater the resources allocated).

To access the grant, Counties are required to have a minimum access condition including establishing a Climate Change Act, developing a governor-approved work plan and budget for climate change activities, opening a special purpose account (domiciled in The Central Bank of Kenya) and signing the program deed agreement.

The County Governments have tailor-made different local solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Marsabit County, located in Northern Kenya is the second largest County with an area mass of 66,923.1 KM2. According to the 2019 census, the County is home to 459,785 residents with 95% of them being agro-pastoral and pastoral communities. The County is divided into four sub-counties namely Saku, North Horr, Moyale and Laisamis. These four administrative zones serve as political units comprising 4 constituencies, 20 wards and 100 villages.

The County experiences arid climatic conditions, causing many residents to forsake agricultural pursuits due to unpredictable rainfall and limited access to irrigation water, opting for cattle keeping.

Climate change has manifested in the region through severe droughts, resulting to loss of lives among both residents and animals. According to the Marsabit County climate change mainstreaming guidelines, only about 15% of the land in Marsabit County is under vegetation cover and the rural indigenous forests woodlands have been destroyed at a rate of 5% annually posing a threat to catchment areas and land resources.

Further, the guidelines indicate that waste is managed by County authorities only at sub-County headquarters through heap burning which accounts for about 20% of the waste generated in urban centres, with majority of households resorting to backyard waste burning. In the County, only 20% of the households have access to pit latrines with the majority 78% practicing open defecation which causes diseases like cholera especially when it floods.

Rainfall ranges between 200 mm and 1,000 mm per annum and its duration, amount and reliability increases as altitude rises. The lowest part of the County like North Horr (550 m asl) has a mean annual rainfall of 150 mm.

Relevant County:
Date of Publication:
11 June, 2024

Nzei Mwende

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