, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7 – Rains have been considered a blessing since biblical times; and the looming El Nino deluge can be exactly that.
Some $1 million (Sh103 million) is the budget set aside to award the greatest minds in the country that will come up with innovative ideas on how climate information can be used.
The objective is to have a platform where climate information will be disseminated to all Kenyans in an accessible manner.
Dubbed the Climate Information Prize competition which is funded by the UK Department for International Development, it has been set up as an incentive to the development of innovative solutions in a bid to make climate information more accessible for poor and vulnerable communities in Kenya.
If interested, there are a number of competitions you can get involved in, each awarded with respective prizes; the Wazo and Tekeleza prize.
Camco Clean Energy Managing Director Stephen Mutimba, explains to Capital FM News about the Climate Information Prize: “The Wazo Prize award the best 15 submissions that outline a business idea using climate information to develop solution that will help the vulnerable adapt to climate variability and change,” he explains.
The winners will receive cash prizes, with a maximum individual prize of Sh150,000.
Tekeleza prize, he explains will be the larger prize, “and will be awarded to innovators that have used climate information to help their target communities build resilience to climate change.”
Mutimba points out that providing appropriate climate change response measures at local and national levels requires proper understanding of climate change challenges both regionally and in the country.
In 2010, a National Climate Change strategy called for the country to “create functional linkages with development partners for technology enterprise initiatives.”
Beatrice Kinyanjui, Regional Director, Cardno Emerging Markets said, “Submissions for the Wazo Prize shall be open from 30th September 2015 and closes on 7th February 2016. A judging panel will be constituted to review the quality of the ideas submitted.”
“The awards ceremony will be held at the end of March 2016, where the top 15 ideas will be awarded cash prizes. The Wazo Prize will consist of monetary prize awards with a particular focus on the recognition, showcasing, and publicity of novel ideas and actors in the area of climate information.”
Though measures have been put in place, Mutimba believes Kenyans are yet to know what they are supposed to do, when El-Nino starts.
The case may have been reflected by Kenyans on Twitter, who discussed the topic on Wednesday.
Here are some of the sentiments as raised on Twitter;
@SaddiqueShaban The tragedy of our time is that folks are waiting to take selfies with #ElNino devastated backgrounds than call for action before the rains.
@asmali77 With the impending #ElNino, #Eastleigh is doomed. @KideroEvans has got to do something. #EastleighNeglected.
@ngutchie Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass,it’s bout learning how to dance in the rain!Don’t get it twisted tho be safe during #ElNino.
@NjukiMartinJM #ElNino Is anyone in the arid areas thinking about water harvesting?
@Victormugambi_1 Which #ElNino joke is funnier? Lightskins thinking its an event & saving for it or Cord waiting for disaster to happen to open a paybill no.