Turkana County Climate Change Recommendations
November 16, 2019
CORKE Turkana Scenario Building Session
15th November 2019
Recommendations for Enhancing Climate Change Governance
Turkana County covers 77,000 square kilometers and has a population of 926,976 (2019 Census). Her neighbours are Marsabit County to the East, Samburu to the South East, Baringo to the South, and West Pokot to the South West. Internationally, the County is bordered by Uganda to the West and Ethiopia and South Sudan to the North.
Ecologically, the County is endowed with low lying plains, mountain ranges, a lake and 5 main rivers. The County is largely Arid and Semi-Arid, receiving rainfall of around 80 mm per annum. There are five main rivers, Tarach, Kerio, Kalapata, Malimalite and Turkwel, but whose water levels reduce greatly during the dry seasons. The salinity of Lake Turkana is rising due to reduced inflows and increased evaporation. Across the board, the soils in the county are not well developed and largely unfit for crop agriculture.
The County has in the County Integrated Development Plan recognized Climate Change and its effects. However, there has been a delay in development of specific plans and interventions on Climate Change Governance, Mitigation and Adaptation.
- Climate Change Related Laws and Plans
Overall, the County recognizes the various international and national laws and policies on Climate Change. In this regard, the County in 2018 developed and passed the Turkana County Environment Policy under the Department of Water, Environment and Mineral Resources. The policy defines the measures the County intends to take to address climate change effects.
- CORKE Turkana Project
The Community Resilience in Kerio River Ecosystem (CORKE) Project is implemented by the National Council of Churches of Kenya in partnership with the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) with support from Dan Church Aid. It is aimed at empowering Turkana County to join the Kerio River Ecosystem Inter County Climate Change Governance Cooperation Agreement that was signed by Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties in June 2019. The Agreement was developed during the implementation of CORKE Phase I in the three counties, and spells out Inter County and County Level climate governance structures and commitments that are aimed at preserving and redeeming the Kerio River Ecosystem.
Under this project, a County Scenario Building session was held to accord the residents and officials of Turkana County an opportunity to make recommendations on how Climate Change Governance can be enhanced in the county. The Scenario Building Session made the following recommendations:
- Hindrances to Effective Climate Change Governance
Governance of Climate Change in the county has not been effective, leading to haphazard responses and a low level of mitigation and adaptation. This has been caused by:
- Unregulated human exploitation of the environmental resources such as charcoal burning and cutting of trees
- Inadequate capital for climate change governance
- Lack of community education on climate change
- Overstocking and overgrazing
- Riverine farming
- Lack of a policy framework on Climate Change
- Soil erosion
- Lack of Climate Change Committees
- Lack of tree nurseries and no tree planting policy and practice
- Proposed Amendments to County Laws and Policies
To enhance effectiveness in Climate Change Governance in Turkana County, it is recommended that the following be considered:
- Develop County Laws and Plans on Climate Change
- The Laws and policies should be informed by traditional environmental conservation mechanisms
- The laws and policies to provide for climate change committees from village to county level
- Develop laws to provide punitive measures on those who cut trees
- Have the county forests gazetted
- Include Climate Change as an underlying factor in the County Integrated Development Plan
- Annual Budgets to allocate funds to Climate Change interventions
- Proposal to have Turkana County Join the Kerio River Partnership
To promote effective and sustainable Climate Change Governance in Turkana County, the participants recommended that the County joins the Kerio River Ecosystem Inter County Climate Change Governance Cooperation Agreement.
Towards this, the participants recommended a schedule of activities that entails:
|18th – 25th November||Village and Ward Level consultations and Needs Identification|
|25th November||NCCK / NOREB present report to the Ministry of Water, Environment and Mineral Resources|
|28th November||Ministry of Water, Environment and Mineral Resources meets to review the report and recommendations|
|30th November||Report and Recommendations presented to the County Attorney by the CEC for Water, Environment and Mineral Resources|
|2nd December||Presentation of Cooperation Agreement and County Recommendations to County Governor|
|6th December||Signing of Cooperation Agreement by County Governor and Governors of Partner Counties|
The lives of community members in Turkana County will continue to be at risk if an effective Climate Change Governance framework is not put in place to facilitate structured Mitigation and Adaptation. The recommendations above, when adopted, will strongly contribute to this process.
Attached is the list of participants who attended the Scenario Building session on 15th day of November 2019 at Stegra Hotel, Lodwar.