The County Government of Marsabit has been mitigating the effect of climate change through the adaptation of the action plan of 2018-2021.
Governor Mohamed Mohammud Ali has said that his government through the Department of Water, Environment and Natural Resources will help to tackle the environmental challenges.
He further said that the government of Marsabit is committed to facilitating the establishment of enabling governance structure for coordination, networking, funds leveraging and harmonized inter-sectoral implementation of adaptation action plans in line with the Climate Change Act.
“Marsabit County Government recognizes the threat posed by climate change and disasters like droughts as noted in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) 2013.,” he said.
He added that the government has achieved eradicating some of the effects that initial posed threat to a human being in the area as well as the animals.
The Governor said that among the adaptation strategies that the County government has acquired includes early warning systems, disaster preparedness and response mechanisms, forestation and community sensitization on adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
In Marsabit, the primary livelihood system in the County is pastoral and agro-pastoral production providing for about 80% and 15% of the population respectively.
While the main livelihood activities include livestock keeping, crop farming, forestry, tourism and fisheries along the lake.
According to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics 2010, the majority of livestock are shoats, with goats being 1,143,500 followed by sheep (960,000), Cattle (424,600), camels (203,320) donkeys (64,000) indigenous/commercial chickens (89,616) and bee hives 2,700. The County government has been putting in place infrastructures to mitigate the adverse effects.
“Climate Change Adaptation Actions Plan (MCCCAAP) is a key milestone towards efforts to address the County’s vulnerability to climate change while the process has been guided by inputs from relevant inter-sectoral technical staff drawn from National and County Governments, Non-State Actors, Community Based Organization and representatives of community leaders,” he said.
He said that production and promotion of drought-tolerant, diseases and pest resistant as well as early 18 maturing crop varieties has been the County agenda while also promoting agricultural produce post-harvest processing, storage and value-addition.
Dr Adano G. Umuro, Chief Officer Environment and Natural Resources Development also echoed governor sentiments by affirming that the action plan aims at helping farmers to adapt to changing climate by providing them with various adaptation strategies including rainwater harvesting, diversification of livelihood systems, and planting of drought-tolerant crops while sensitizing communities about climate change.
Dr Adano further said that Marsabit County Climate Adaptation Action Plan was developed through intensive consultative processes that involved climate-related relevant national- and county government departments, international organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations.
“According to Amended EMCA 2015, the functions of County Environment Committee (CEC) are being responsible for the proper management of the environment within the county and to develop a county strategic environmental action plan every five years, “he said.
He added that as the County government they have been key in the Provision of financial and technical assistance to expand the area under high-value traditional drought-tolerant crops (DTC) and drought escaping crops.
“As the County government, we have been offering support to value addition to agricultural products and financial support for investment in agro-processing while also enhancing the promotion of water harvesting – pond, spring protection and storage, combined with efficient water use technologies, “he said.
He added that the government has been pushing for the adoption of crop Insurance Scheme like low premium micro-insurance policy/low-interest loans to insure farmers against crop failures due to droughts, pests or floods.