, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Environment Minister John Michuki is now challenging Kenya’s development partners to synchronise their projects with the government so as to avoid duplication of roles and misuse of resources.
Mr Michuki who spoke at a meeting between government officials and Kenya’s development partners to discuss the possibility of jointly financing climate change projects in Kenya, said Kenya should start prioritising her needs while dealing with effects of climate change.
He further challenged donors who were willing to assist Kenya’s bid to deal with climate change to utilise the already existing policies saying that if the rule of law was followed, Kenya would be able to mitigate climate change.
“One of the problems is that there are too many bodies dealing with the same thing. If you go directly to NGOs to start other programmes other than the national ones then you are changing the national priority and you are putting very scarce resources that you have into what is not priority to government,” he said at the Friday meeting, and added that coordination was also lacking between different government agencies.
The Environment Minister who said Kenya’s time to deal with climate change was running out added that mitigation plans that remained on paper would not help the country towards her cause.
“In my ministry I have said I don’t want any more technical papers. Every officer will now begin liaising with other ministries involved in climate change. I want to have as few meetings as possible. It is a period of implementation. We have talked for too many years sitting in offices,” he said.
The development partners however lauded Kenya’s political will to handle climatic change, with French Development Agency East Africa Director Jean-Pierrre Marcelli saying it would make Kenya’s economy competitive.
“This mission was to demonstrate that climate change is not only about protecting the global weather; it is first to make the Kenyan economy more resilient and its development more sustainable,” he said.
Also present was Prime Minister Raila Odinga who noted that Kenya required Sh231 billion per year for the adaptation and mitigation of climate change. He called on donors to help the country meet the costs saying failure by Kenya to reduce effects of climate change would put the country’s GDP at risk.
“Unless you take corrective measures our GDP growth is going to be put off-gear by as much as 2.6 percent; meaning that we may not be able to achieve our 2030 goal of transforming this economy. If you are put off-gear by this percentage it means that the economy must grow by 12.6 percent as opposed to the planned 10 percent,” he said.
The PM added that Kenya’s budget was strained and that it could not adequately fund the climatic change programmes. He added that he had tasked the Ministry of Planning to work out a plan factoring in effects of climate change in Kenya’s development agenda and to present its findings in July.
British High Commissioner Rob Macaire said Kenya had a leading role to play internationally when it came to mitigating climate change noting that coordination between the various line ministries was a challenge.
Japanese Ambassador Shigeo Iwatani also asked the government to present prioritised project lists to donors to aid their decisions while funding projects.
“In the case of Indonesia, there is an organisation which coordinates all the ministries and gives each donor a prioritised project list. We hope that we can establish a system where we identify the concrete projects and prioritise them so that we can get a guideline from your government on which project we should finance first. As of now choosing projects is rather sporadic,” he said.
World Bank Country Director Johannes Zutt added that a large part of the bank’s programme would be concerned with climate change adaptation and mitigation opportunities that were attached to countries’ projects.
“For example we will be working very closely with the Ministry of Energy on building 280 megawatts of additional geothermal capacity and we will fund the Southern bypass and the flyover to reduce traffic congestion in Nairobi. These projects will have climatic impacts,” he said.
Also present was Water and Irrigation Minister Charity Ngilu, Permanent Secretary for Forestry and Wildlife Mohammed wa Mwachai, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy Patrick Nyoike, French Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier among others.