Experts warn Kenya on climate change

August 24, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change is warning that extreme events, such as droughts and floods, will be more frequent under global warming; triggering off conflict in the arid and semi-arid lands of North-Eastern Kenya.

Speaking at the 24th Climate Outlook Forum for the Greater Horn of Africa, which opened in Nairobi on Monday, Vice Chairman Richard Odingo said governments in developed nations have failed to agree on how best to tackle the issues raised by global warming and the severe impacts likely to be associated with it.

“Are our governments prepared, because it appears that we will have more and more of a challenge as time goes on?” he said.

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and some of the major climate centers have reported high probability for occurrence of El Niño conditions during the later part of the year.

Professor Odingo said most parts of the Greater Horn of Africa sub-region have received below normal and poorly distributed rainfall during the March to May 2009 season with far reaching implications on livestock, crop production, various water uses, hydropower, among many others.

The El Niño evolution and regional climate expectations for September to December 2009 will be presented at the forum.

He cited the current devastating drought as a stark warning of what to expect as climate change inexorably tightens its grip on the world making it impossible to tackle poverty.

“In the next 30 to 100 years the forecast outlook will be very mild and harsh as the temperatures are going to be rising”.

Professor Odingo said continued economic development in Africa is under threat from climate change.

“The problem with most of our governments is that they always wait until the last minute, when nothing else can be done to reverse the situation and then they begin to beg for aid,” he said.

Enviroment Secretary Alice Kaundia said the meeting will access the current climatic conditions and come up with a regional master plan for dealing with the effects of climate change. 

“As we develop the National Climate Response Strategy, our National Investment Framework Strategy because we found that when you are forewarned and informed you can therefore make proper plans and respond effectively to challenges of climate change,” she told delegates at the 2-day conference.


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