Climate change a costly affair for Kenya

May 18, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Environment Minister John Michuki has warned that if no mitigation measures are taken by the year 2030, climate change will cost Kenya over Sh235 billion ($3billion) annually.

Mr Michuki said on Tuesday that this was besides the additional indirect costs that would be incurred  if no interventions were immediately taken.

“We are at the point of either making or breaking,” Mr Michuki said.

Addressing a joint Press Conference with Forestry and Wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa, Mr Michuki said urgent interventions were critical and must be carefully considered.

He said the Japanese government had given a grant of Sh274 million ($3.5million) for a two-year African Adaptation Programme for climate change.

Mr Michuki said the Ministry had also developed a National Climate Change Response Strategy to strengthen and focus nationwide actions towards climate change adaptation and reduction of Green House gas emission.

“The vision for this strategy is for a prosperous and climate change resilient Kenya.  Its mission is to strengthen nationwide focused actions towards adapting to and mitigating against a changing climate,” he said.

He said that this would be done through engagement of all partners while taking into account the vulnerability of the natural resources and the society.

The Minister said the plan also created awareness on the global climate change negotiations, international agreements, policies and processes as well as identified the positions that Kenya needed to take in order to maximise on the opportunities climate change presented.

“It recommends robust adaptation and mitigation measures needed to minimise risks associated with climate change while enhancing understanding of climate change and its impacts on biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation,” the Minister said.

He also noted that the plan was complementary and consistent with existing national development and economic plans especially vision 2030 which is Kenya’s development blue print.

“My ministry has developed a concept to guide in the investment on growing trees targeting 35,000 schools, 4,300 women groups, the six regional development authorities and 16,350 youth groups,” he said.

Forestry and Wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa said the long rain season that began in March had seen some wildlife washed away in the floods.

“But the effects of this long rain season is not as devastating as the drought we had before the rains,” he said.


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