Kenya is one of the most disaster – prone countries in the Horn of Africa. Disasters affect millions of people each year and therefore undermine the gains. The most common hazards to which Kenya is exposed are drought and flooding. Climate change is expected to exacerbate this situation by altering the intensity and frequency of natural hazards and amplifying their impact. The climate-sensitivity of key sectors of the economy further increases the degree of risk.
Kenya has made very positive strides towards managing disaster and climate risk, such as new policies, strategies, legislation and institutional reforms. These are aligned with the relevant international and regional frameworks. However , the mandate for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation is still spread across separate ministries, departments and agencies, as well as the two levels of governance following devolution. Mechanisms to strengthen joint action are therefore essential to achieving greater synergy, efficiency and impact.
The concept of climate risk management bridges the three currently separate spheres of climate change adaptation, disaster risk management and sustainable development. It is an integrated approach to climate- sensitive decision-making that is increasingly seen as the way forward in dealing with climate variability and change.
Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation have much in common. They share similar priorities, use similar tools, and apply similar measures. Their common aim is to reduce the impact of shocks by anticipating risk and reducing vulnerability. And since exposure and vulnerability to risk are compounded by broader social and environmental trends such as urbanization, environmental degradation and the globalization of markets, both seek to mainstream their concerns into processes of development planning and resource allocation.
The objective of this climate risk management framework is to bring together these currently separate fields of work so that disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development are pursued as mutually supportive rather than stand-alone goals, and so that an integrated climate risk management approach becomes a central part of policy and planning.
The framework was developed in a participatory way with technical experts and stakeholders working on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. While it recognizes that Kenya faces various forms of disasters, its focus is on hydro meteorological disasters given their magnitude, socio-economic and environmental impact, and frequency of occurrence.