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Press Release

County climate fund’s success heralds expansion to 29% of Kenya

The project was set up to design and test a mechanism to allow local people to identify investments that build their resilience to climate change, and then finance these projects through a County Adaptation Fund. Since it was set up in October 2012, the Climate Adaptation Fund has allocated £500,000 (68.5 million shillings) to communities in Isiolo County to fund a variety of resilience building projects.

Communities in the five pilot wards of Kinna, Sericho, Merti, Garbatulla and Oldonyiro identified projects for funding by the fund through their ward-level committee. A cross community/government committee at the county level then assessed these proposals helped strengthen them to meet the funding criteria.

These include infrastructural projects such as a livestock disease laboratory in Kinna and sand dams to store water in Oldonyiro, as well as the establishment of local agreements to improve natural resource management by strengthening the traditional dedha system of rotating grazing lands and managing access to dry season water in Garbatulla and Kinna.

Successes like these have prompted the approach’s expansion, under a £6.5 million Adaptation Consortium — composed of UK Met Office, Kenya Metrological Services, CARE, Christian Aid and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) — to other arid and semi-arid counties of Kenya. The consortium secretariat is housed at the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

“The important thing about this approach is that vulnerable communities are the ones making decisions on what should be funded through their Ward Adaptation Planning Committees,” says Victor Orindi, climate change advisor at NDMA and coordinator of the Adaptation Consortium. “This ensures that interventions address needs felt on the ground and that resources reach the most deserving.”

“In the past, development plans have been designed and implemented without involving the locals, disadvantaging them. This explains the many white elephant projects in Wajir,” says Diyad Hujale the Executive Director of Arid Lands Development Focus, Wajir. “However this project puts the community members first by prioritising their plans, and as result strengthening their resilience to climate change.”

“The Isiolo fund is an innovative use of Kenya’s new constitution, which permits devolution not only to the county but also the sub-county institutions,” says Mumina Bonaya, Secretary to the Isiolo Climate Adaptation Planning Committee. “It shows how the devolution enshrined in the constitution can work for the drylands and the people who live there. It encourages local institutions and communities to work together to develop effective solutions to the challenges that the changing climate presents.”

The launch in Wajir will take place at Raha Palace Hotel from 9am -4pm.

For more information see the IIED briefing paper “Ensuring devolution supports adaptation and climate resilient growth in Kenya” by Ced Hesse and James Pattinson.

Contacts for interviews.

Victor Orindi: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +254 720689909
Mumina Bonaya: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +254 723445166
Daoud Tari: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +254 702 551 565

For all other queries, contact Jane Kiiru, who can also arrange for journalists to meet community committees and fund beneficiaries (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).