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coping mechanism to climate change


									                                                          State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

                                   CHAPTER FIVE

5.1 Introduction

Adaptation to environmental change is not a new concept. Human societies have shown
throughout history a strong capacity for adapting to different climates and environmental
changes. Farmers, foresters, civil engineers and their supporting institutions have been
forced to adapt to numerous historical challenges either to overcome adversity or to remove
important impediments to sustained productivity. Adaptation requires careful integration of
climate risks into both near and long-term planning, so that vulnerable people, places, sectors
and ecosystems are able to cope with unavoidable changes.

The steady warming of the earth’s surface temperature caused by climate change has
enormous implications for agriculture. The trend may lead to replacement of common arable
crops like maize to cooler regions currently covered by tea and pyrethrum. Other sectors that
are affected by climate change include; forestry, biodiversity, water, health, transport,
industry and energy.

About 80% of Kenya’s population depends directly on land and natural resources for their
livelihoods. The impact of weather variability and climate change has potential to severely
affect the livelihoods of most Kenyans. The most vulnerable members of the society affected
by effects of climate change are the indigenous and local communities who live in Arid and
Semi Arid Lands. Alternative livelihoods that could be introduced to help them mitigate and
adapt to the impact of climate change include the introduction of dry land small scale farming
to produce food that could help them during the times of droughts. There is also the need to
introduce income-generating activities which will improve their health and well being
especially women. These activities include bee-keeping, restocking breed improvement and
micro credit facilities.

A major concern relating to climate change in Kenya is the lack of adequate long period data
and information to researchers, planners, policy-makers and the general public. There is need
to develop, strengthen and harmonize national research institutions and programmes on issues
regarding climate change, their impacts, adaptation and mitigation.

Attempts are being made to develop indicators for monitoring climate change to ensure that
there is access and flow of information to all through print and electronic media. This will
promote the use of Indigenous Knowledge and recognize the holders of such knowledge and
develop efficient early warning information systems for communities in vulnerable areas
through capacity building in disaster preparedness, management and coping mechanisms.

The government has initiated policy guidelines for steering strategies for developing and
implementing adaptation and mitigation measures. These have the potential to abate increase
of emission of greenhouse gases and therefore mitigate climate change. There is a definite
institutional structure for climate issues. However, it is constrained by inadequate capacity,
weak linkages and networking at all levels.

Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                          State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

5.2 Coping strategies by sectors

5.2.1 Forestry

The total area under woodland in Kenya is estimated at 48.6 million hectares (1.3 million
hectares are under natural forests, 0.17 million are forest plantations, 9.5 million are
farmlands and settlements while 37.6 million are woodlands, bush-lands and wooded
grasslands). Forest ecosystems represent an important component in carbon sequestration and
conservation and can store from 20-100 times more carbon than other vegetation on the same
land area. It can store around 30-60 tons of carbon per hectare. A recent analysis shows that
forests are a net sink with an estimated net emission of 28 262 Gg of carbon dioxide (using
1994 as the base year). Large-scale deforestation can lead to dangerous emissions of
greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It is only through planned land use changes, proper
forestry activities and policies that greenhouse gas retention levels can be reached.

Strategies to cope with the effects of climate change include: afforestation, re-afforestation,
reduced deforestation, agro forestry, harvested wood product management as well as use of
forest products for bio energy to replace fossil fuel. Other strategies include tree species
improvement for increased biomass productivity, improved remote sensing technology.
These are achieved by:-
    • Developing early warning signals within the systems using both scientific and
        indigenous knowledge.
    • Expanding the range of options for livelihoods in order to ameliorate the impacts of
        adverse weather/climate e.g. extended droughts and floods.
    • Implementing terrestrial resources rehabilitation policies.
    • Implementing climate change programmes in national development plans.
    • Involving communities in the implementation of climate change programmes.
    • Providing financial resources to climate change activities.
    • Promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

The mitigation options in the forestry sector include:-
   • Harmonizing existing policies and legal measures – Policies that have direct bearing
         on land-use change and forest development include the National Energy Policy,
         National Food Policy and Policy on Environment and Development. Most of these
         policies have been strengthened by Environmental Management Coordination Act
         (EMCA), 1999. Section 46 of the Act provides for re-afforestation and afforestation
         of hilltops, hillsides and mountainous areas while section 47 prescribes measures for
         the sustainable use of hilltops, hillsides and mountainous areas. Examples of some
         of the legal instruments are; Forest Act (Cap. 285) of 1962 (revised 1982 and 1992),
         Timber Act (Cap. 386) of 1972, Wildlife Act (Cap.376 of 1976) amended (1989),
         Fisheries Act (Cap. 378) of 1989, Agriculture Act (Cap.318) of 1980 (revised
         1986), Chief’s Authority Act (Cap.128) of 1970 (revised 1998).
   • Encouraging tree planting programmes – Two basic types of abatement options in
         forestry sector are being implemented i.e. expansion tree stands through
         afforestation, reforestation, farm forestry and conservation of existing stands.
         Farmers should be encouraged to practice agro forestry and further improve their
         livelihoods by participating in carbon trading as part of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean
         Development Mechanism.
Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                         State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

5.2.2 Water

Kenya is endowed with a large potential of water resources in terms of rainfall, groundwater
river flows, lakes and oceans. The surface water resources are contained within the five main
drainage basins. These include the Lake Victoria Basin, the Tana River Basin, the Ewaso
Nyiro Basin, the Athi Basin and the Rift Valley Inland Basin. Despite the fact that Kenya has
a lot of water resources, it is not evenly distributed across the country. Water being a basic
need to all socio-economic developments and for maintaining healthy ecosystems, it is
however increasingly limited by an ever-increasing demand, unsustainable use and increased
incidences of pollution.

There are several indicators of water resource stress, including the amount of water available
per person and the ratio of the volume of water withdrawn to the volume of water potentially
available. When withdrawals are between 20% and 40% of the total renewable resources,
water stress is acknowledged to be a limiting factor on development. A reduction in
precipitation projected by some Global Climate Models (GCMs) for the sub- Saharan Africa,
if accompanied by high inter-annual variability, it could be detrimental to the hydrological
balance in Kenya. This could also disrupt various water dependants especially on socio-
economic activities. Variations in climatic conditions render the management of water
resources more difficult within Kenya and among the neighboring countries.

A drop in water levels in dams and rivers could adversely affect the quality of water by
increasing the concentrations of sewerage and industrial effluents, thereby increasing the
potential for the outbreak of diseases and reducing the quality and quantity of fresh water
available for domestic use. Adaptation options include water harvesting, management of
water inflow and outflow in dams and more efficient water usage. Therefore efficient water
harvesting techniques should be initiated in areas receiving erratic rainfall as a result of
climatic change. Future adaptive measures therefore may include flood control mechanisms,
better ways of water harvesting and storage through construction of dams and pans, drilling
of boreholes, conservation of water catchments and improved rural water supply. Rainwater
collection / harvesting reduce erosion during heavy rainfall and stores water for use during
drier periods.

Wide range of adaptation techniques have been developed and applied in the water resources
sector based on two broad distinctions namely ‘supply-side’ and ‘demand-side’ adaptive
techniques. ‘Supply side’ adaptive techniques involve changing structures, operating rules
and institutional arrangements. Examples of supply-side adaptations include increasing flood
control, building weirs and locks to manage water levels for navigation, and modifying or
extending infrastructure to collect and distribute water to consumers. On the other hand,
‘demand-side’ adaptive techniques include water demand management such as encouraging
water-efficient irrigation, water pricing, emphasis on conservation, awareness raising
campaigns, policies and regulations to encourage efficient use of water.

Plate 5.2: Water harvesting techniques

Coping Strategies;
Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                          State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

Water re-use entails using treated municipal effluent as a source of non-potable water supply,
consequently reducing the amount of waste water discharged into the environment. Similarly,
water recycling or re-circulation used mainly in industrial systems recovers and treats effluent
which is then returned back to the industrial process.

Water re-use in industrial processes is particularly attractive as it reduces energy costs,
recaptures raw materials and reduces discharges. Additionally, water reclamation has many
economic benefits that are often overlooked such as reduction in nutrient discharge into the
environment. Other benefits include improved environmental quality, reduced costs for
drinking water, localized irrigation among others.

De-salination transforms seawater into drinking water and the reverse osmosis technology of
de-salination is also used to treat contaminated wastewater. However, de-salination is an
energy-intensive process which has its own environmental drawbacks. It can be appropriate
when other fresh water sources are not physically close. As such, this is a capital intensive
venture which offers a potential alternative source for consideration.

Low-cost technologies
Improved technology in the water handling equipments can reduce wastage and thus
contributing to water saving. Such efforts will ultimately reduce the strain on urban water
infrastructure and avoid or defer costly upgrades and expansions as population grows.
Improved low cost technologies include water efficient appliances like showerheads and
faucet aerators which help to reduce water use.

Leak Detection
Leakages in domestic and municipal water infrastructure in Kenya contribute to water loss.
Therefore aggressive leak detection and subsequent repairs should be timely in order to
safeguard wastage of water as a resource. Other economic activities such car washing and
selling of water should be regulated.

Constructed Wetlands
Wetlands, bogs, forests and slow moving streams comprise of natural purification systems
that absorb water substantially thus slowing its flow and removing impurities as the water
passes through. This improves water quality and also helps mitigate floods by acting as a
natural sponge reducing the speed of water flow across the surface.

Mimicking these natural filtration systems, wetlands are being constructed as a low cost
water-treatment option for a variety of wastewater streams, for example, municipal
wastewater, industrial discharges and storm water. Unfortunately, their effectiveness
decreases as temperatures drop.

   Integrated watershed planning and management

There is no one cure-all technology that can be implemented to reduce the impacts of climate
change. It is however possible to influence the location, timing, and quality of water flows
through management actions on the land surface. Land-use practices and urban planning are
critical in this regard. To cope with increasing precipitation and floods due to climate change,
various preventive strategies particularly integrated watershed planning and management
should be implemented.
Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                           State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

The availability of freshwater is adversely affected by climate change as it alters precipitation
patterns. Kenya has the capacity to meet her domestic water needs by embracing sustainable
use, appropriate technology and regulations.

Other Strategies and Policy Options
 National Water Conservation Programme has been formulated to promote water
conservation with an in-built mechanism for payment of fees and levies for water utilization
.this will in turn provide financial resources for water conservation activities.

Water Quality Regulations provide standards and guidelines for disposal of wastewater into
the environment. These regulations have instituted fines/tariffs to potential offenders as a
deterrent to further pollution. As such, enhanced inspections are recommended to ensure
compliance to the regulations and stoppage of illegal discharges.

Water Research and Technology should be done in collaboration with relevant research
institutions for sharing of experiences and results. A national technology vetting mechanism
to vet incoming technologies should be established. Appropriate water technology
innovations should be published in journals regularly.

Rehabilitation of Water Supply Schemes will ensure sound community based management
of water supply facilities. These include dams, pans, boreholes and wells to support irrigation
and other domestic needs.

Gender influences water development, management and use. There is need to carry out
studies to determine the key gender aspects of water use and management and make
recommendations for improvement at community levels.


The recent creation of the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) is among
government interventions for the protection and conservation of water catchment areas.
Catchments are sources of major rivers and streams in the country, which previously,
experienced human encroachment and destruction. In most ASALs, the government has
embarked on the construction of dams and pans and drilling of boreholes and wells to
increase our water access and storage capacities.

There is also need implement the Integrated Water Resources Management and Development
Strategy to ensure rationalized apportionment of water resources among potential users to
avoid water use conflicts. In addition, there is need to formulate and implement Flood
Management and Early Warning Systems to mitigate potential environmental disasters.

5.2.3 Agriculture

The Kenyan economy is primarily agriculture based. This provides food security, economic
growth, employment creation and foreign exchange earnings. The agriculture sector has
experienced tremendous growth over the years with increased productivity.       However,
Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                           State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

agricultural intensification exerts pressure on water, soil, forestry and wildlife resources thus
reducing the natural carbon sinks.

Coping Strategies

Drought resistant/tolerant crops have been introduced in arid areas to enhance food security.
Other early maturing crops such as Katumani hybrid maize have also been introduced to
farmers. In addition, change of dietary habits has provided alternatives to known staple foods
hence enhancing food security.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to increase food production and reduce agro-chemical
pollution has been adopted by farmers. This has been coupled with adjusting planting and
harvesting schedules to cope with rainfall patterns, new diseases and pest emergence due to
climate change.

The government should improve marketing strategies through Kenya Meat Commission by
buying livestock from pastoralists during the drought season as well as encouraging
pastoralists to regulate stocking rates to the carrying capacity of the land.

The communities should be encouraged to practice rotational grazing of pastures to reduce
pressure on grazing lands.

Community grain stores should be established to serve as reservoirs during food shortages.

Crop diversification as well as growing of hybrid crops together with traditional crops should
be encouraged to lessen vulnerability.

Use of organic manure needs to be promoted to reduce pollution, minimize flooding and
enhance groundwater recharge.

Most parts of the dry lands suffer from consistent land degradation. Farmers in these regions
are already struggling to grow crops on land that contains inadequate nutrients and has little
capacity to retain water. There will be need to take urgent measures to reducing land
degradation through existing technologies in order to increase water retention and crop
production in those areas

Researching the spatial and temporal distributions of some indigenous food plant taxa will
help us understand future distributions under a changing climate. Similarly researching, the
genetic diversity and the physiological tolerance of a species can help us understand how
likely a species is to survive under climate change. In reality, farmers can benefit by changing
not only what they grow but also how they grow it.

Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                          State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

Adaptations strategies
Crop diversification to cater for the impending scenario whereby the shifts in rainfall patterns
would affect important commercial agriculture.

Farmers coming from hotter areas in some parts of the country are encouraged to switch from
crops such as maize to drought tolerant ones like sorghum which requires less water.

Use of irrigation in crop production could reduce the amount of water available for other
human uses and natural systems.

Traditional famine foods known for their ability to produce sufficiently during the low
rainfall and dry seasons should be introduced.

Good farm management practices such as use of efficient Nitrogen fertilizer and manure to
improve farm yields, farm energy efficiency, cover cropping, and development of local
markets should be promoted.

Innovative farming practices that may address climate change to enhance profitability and/or
air or soil quality such as use of bio-diesel and alternative fuels, on-farm energy generation
and reduced tillage systems need to be adopted.

Plant breeders and other agricultural researchers should develop a coherent, systemic
response to the potential effects of climate change on agriculture and play a critical role in
helping poor farmers adapt to the consequences of climate change and mitigate its deleterious

The expected severe water stress expected in the arid and semiarid land areas may witness the
loss of some indigenous food plants gathered from the wild. There is therefore need to
domesticate these plants to sustaining their availability.

To ensure food security, the design and governance of food distribution systems need to be
looked into to stabilize food availability and to compensate for stocks that markets may not
be able to absorb especially where market-level imperfections and liquidity constraints exist.
For instance, a policy to ensure excess maize from the traditional maize zone of the North
Rift is distributed to the deficit areas needs to be put in place.

Optimizing the use of increasingly scarce rainwater through agro forestry practices such as
improved fallow could be one effective way of improving the adaptive capacity of
agricultural systems to climate change. This system has been demonstrated through trials by
the World Agro Forestry Centre (ICRAF) in Western Kenya.

Funding will need to go to researching crop varieties that are resistant to drought, heat, and
floods. Climate adaptation needs to be given a higher priority with the Government providing
budgetary allocations to tackle these activities. There is an adaptation fund set by the United
Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCC) for developing countries
(Heidi Fritschel, 2006) from which the government could benefit from.

Farmers and local leaders need to be sensitized through extension services on implications of
climate change including the vulnerability of agriculture sector and the necessary adaptation
Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                          State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

5.2.4 Health

Population well-being is an important ingredient and determinant of adaptive capacity. Many
countries face the double burden of increase of non-communicable diseases and continued
prevailing infectious diseases. Climate change is one of the factors that influence the
frequency and transmission of infectious diseases.

Changes in the agents that transport infectious diseases such as mosquitoes, ticks, rodents are
likely to occur with any significant change in precipitation and temperature. Vector-borne
diseases are therefore expected to spread to new areas as the vectors move to new habitats in
response to changes induced by higher temperature, relative humidity and precipitation. For
instance the traditional cool potato growing regions, which are unsuitable for aphid vector
activity, might witness the increase of viral diseases that may result in low yields.

In Kenya, the prevalence of some diseases and other threats to human health depend largely
on the local climate. Climate-related disturbances in ecological systems, such as changes in
the range of infective parasites can indirectly impact on the incidence of serious infectious
diseases. In addition, warm temperatures can increase air and water pollution which in turn
affects human health. Climate change has the potential to influence the frequency and
transmission of infectious diseases. The recent increase of malaria in the highlands of Kisii
and Kericho are pointers of mosquitoes’ vectors shifting to new habitats in response to
changes of environments associated to increase in temperatures as a result of climate change.
Human susceptibility to infections may be further compounded by malnutrition and adverse
effects of to the human immune system caused by increased influx of ultraviolet radiation.

Understanding the linkages between climatological and ecological change, as determinants of
disease emergence and redistribution will ultimately help to optimize preventive strategies.
Advanced monitoring is necessary to enhance early-warning and prevention capabilities.
Resurgent floods resulting from excessive rainfall has been witnessed lately in some parts of
the country. The potential to exacerbate water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, and
dysentery and among others is high. Likewise drought enhances water-borne diseases by
wiping out supplies of safe drinking water and concentrating contaminants that may
otherwise remain dilute. Illnesses can be minimized by providing alternative sources of clean
water in these areas.

Many adaptive measures have benefits beyond those associated with climate change. The
rebuilding and maintaining of public health infrastructure is often viewed as the most
important, cost-effective and urgently needed adaptation strategy. This includes public health
training, effective surveillance, emergency response systems as well as sustainable prevention
and control programmes.

Climate-related adaptation strategies must therefore be considered in relation to broader
factors such as population growth, poverty, sanitation, health care, nutrition and
environmental degradation. These factors influence population vulnerability and capacity to
adapt to climate change. In this regard, population should embrace coping mechanisms to
enhance their resilience to current and future climatic variabilities.

Coping Strategies in Health Sector;
Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                         State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

1. Public Health Institutions should be strengthened to cope with the increase in climate
   related diseases like malaria and cholera during flooding as well as promoting
   surveillance systems for disease emergence.

Immunologists should examine the interplay between human immuno-competence and
vector-borne disease risks in a warmer world.

The rebuilding and maintaining of public health infrastructure should be the most important,
cost-effective and urgently needed adaptation strategy. In flood prone areas the need to
upgrade hospitals with facilities to handle water-borne diseases is crucial. This will reduce
emergency approaches to handle outbreaks.

There is need to foster collaboration between public and private sectors in a bid to enhance
adaptive capacity of local communities to cope. For example, some drug companies can get
in joint initiative with public institutions to develop new drugs.

2. The government established the National Disaster Operation Center (NOC) in January
1998 to coordinate response to disaster related activities such as landslides, floods and
disease outbreaks related to sudden weather changes.

3. Several responses strategies for vector and water-borne diseases with regard to climate
   change include;
   • Intensification of public health campaigns targeting the vector/ organisms that cause
      the diseases.

   •   General disease surveillance using ecosystem indicators to ensure timely interventions
       can be instituted based on changes in disease progression. Early indicators identified
       in developing models and disease incidence will be used. In addition, field data on
       diseases will be gathered to update the seasonal and inter-personal variations of
       climatic factors and the diseases.

   •   Public awareness campaigns and participation should be enhanced aimed at
       sensitizing and educating the public on the correct measures to take in the event of
       severe weather condition or disaster. Local health centers should be equipped with
       appropriate drugs and facilities.

   •   The NOC should be strengthened with trained personnel, sound equipment and
       financial resources to cope with emergencies as a result of weather changes. The
       Centre should be decentralized to areas that are prone to disasters to ensure swift
       action. Other measures should include setting up of early warning systems for disaster
       detection, provision of medical facilities (laboratories with diagnostic kits, adequate
       drugs and chemicals) and trained personnel.

4. The Ministry of Health should improve its production of annual medical reports of
   various diseases and medical conditions which can be a major source of valuable data for
   prediction of weather related cases.

Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                           State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

5. The government has a health policy in place that guarantees quality heath care services.
This ensures that such services are acceptable, affordable and accessible to all. In this regard,
the government is decentralizing the decision-making organs, resource allocation and
management of health services to the district levels to allow greater participation of the
communities in the management and delivery of health care services.

Adaptive capacity

Adaptive capacity refers to both actual and potential features encompassing both current and
future coping ability. The main determinants of a community’s adaptive capacity include
economic wealth, technology, information and skills, infrastructure, institutions and equity.
Adaptive capacity is also a function of current population health status and pre-existing
disease burdens.

Economic resources are required for investments and offsetting costs of adaptation. In
general, poverty enhances vulnerability to the effects of climate change

Technology and its access in key sectors such as agriculture, water resources, health-care and
urban design is an important determinant of adaptive capacity. Most adaptive strategies
involve modern technology to enhance coping with climate change.

However, there are health risks from proposed technological adaptations which should be
assessed in advance to mitigate their effects. For example, increased air conditioning would
protect against heat stress but could increase emissions of greenhouse gases and other air
pollutants. Poorly designed coastal "defenses" may increase vulnerability to tidal surges if
they engender false security and promote low-lying coastal settlements.

Information and skills are necessary to ensure effective operation, quality control, and
maintenance of public health infrastructure to enhance human adaptive capacity. There is
need to built capacity of populations in order to eradicate illiteracy which increases
vulnerability to climate change.

Infrastructure specifically designed to reduce vulnerability to effects of climate change
include flood control structures, air conditioning as well as insulation in buildings. Others
include provision of public health facilities to enhance adaptive capacity. However,
permanent infrastructure is especially adversely affected by extreme events of climate change
such as floods and strong winds.

Institutional arrangements should be strengthened to enhance adaptive capacities at all

Equity ensures equal distributions of resources at different levels thus enhancing adaptive
capacity. Poor and marginalized communities often lack adaptive capacity due to lack of
access to resources, quality services and better health care.

5.2.5 Transport

Motorized road and railway transport are the principal sources of greenhouse gases (GHG).
The sector accounts for 56% of the fossil fuels consumed nationally. The main GHG from
this sector includes: carbon dioxide, non-methane volatile compounds and nitrous oxide.
Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                        State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

Carbon dioxide is the major GHG. It is therefore very important to identify response
measures that will lead to the control of CO2 emission from these modes of transport.

   • Construction of bypasses-the government is committed to building road bypasses
      around towns to ease traffic congestion in order to reduce fuel wastage. Wasted fuels
      lead to high emission. Bypasses in Sagana, Naivasha, Voi and Thika have succeeded
      in easing traffic congestion in the respective areas.
   • An Act of parliament established the road maintenance fund in 1994 to avail reliable
      source of money for maintaining the road network in the country. Properly maintained
      roads ensure high efficiency of vehicles, which emit less GHG.
   • Animal transport- the government in some Districts has its own registered animal
      transport. Lamu district has registered animals for transport with records and official
      travel schedules.
   • Use of bicycles - the government has zero-rated duty on bicycles thereby encouraging
      their use. Most parts in the country use bicycle as taxis (boda boda) e.g. Busia and
   • Walking- it is the government policy to construct pedestrian walking paths in major
      towns in the country. This is a positive abatement measure as it reduces reliance on
      driving and overloading of public transport within towns.
   • Hand-drawn transport- handcarts which are operated in town centers are licensed
      through the Local Government Act. This shows that the government recognizes their
      role. Handcarts are cheap and environmentally friendly.
   • Marine transport- Lake Victoria is the biggest fresh water lake in Africa. The three
      East African countries share the Lake. The mode of transport is by hand rowed boats,
      single engine boats and steamers. There is the use of motorized boats though their
      statistics is not reliable and cannot be used to assess their level of GHG emissions.

    Adopted policy measures;
         i.  Government – amendment of the Traffic Act, Enforcement of the Vehicle
             inspection manual ,etc
        ii.  Planning of estates
       iii.  Construction of fly-over, ring and by-pass roads
       iv.   Creating road links

   Measures under consideration;
        i.   Encouragement of mass transport
       ii.   Improvement of telecommunication to reduce commuting by vehicles
     iii.    Tuning of vehicles
      iv.    Traffic management
       v.    Non-motorized transport
      vi.    Course on fuel efficiency in driving schools curricula
     vii.    Better parking arrangements in major towns
    viii.    Environmental standards for transits vehicles
      ix.    Compulsory inspection of all vehicles

 Measures being implemented
    i.     Promotion of rail transport

Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                           State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

     ii.        Pipeline Fuel transport
    iii.        Taxation and registration fees
    iv.         Protection of environment from transport pollution

5.2.6 Energy
Adaptation to climate change takes place through adjustments to reduce vulnerability or
enhance resilience in response to observed or expected changes in climate and associated
extreme weather events. It occurs in physical, ecological and human systems and involves
changes in social and environmental processes, perceptions of climate risk, practices and
functions to reduce potential damages or to realize new opportunities.

Adaptations include anticipatory and reactive actions, private and public initiatives, and can
relate to projected changes in temperature and current climate variations and extremes that
may be altered with climate change. In practice, it tends to be on-going process, reflecting
many factors or stresses, rather than discrete measures to address climate change specifically.
On the other hand, climate change is a pervasive factor in social and economic development.
It is so universally present and so deeply ingrained that it is barely noticed until things go

Developing an adaptation strategy for future climate change requires a clear idea of key
objectives. At the broadest level, the overall objectives of an adaptation strategy must fit
within the development priorities the country. At a more operational level, there are at least
five important objectives:

   •       Increasing the robustness of infrastructure designs and long-term investments;
   •       Increasing the flexibility and resilience of managed natural systems and social
   •       Enhancing the adaptability of vulnerable natural systems;
   •       Reversing trends that increase vulnerability; and
   •       Improving societal awareness and preparedness for future climate change.

Recent events in Kenya such as droughts, flooding, increased frequency of extreme weather
events underscore the need to consciously evolve adaptation measures to forestall future
vulnerability. Communities need to be empowered with both hard and soft adaptation
technologies through a carefully planned and executed development and transfer of
environmentally sound technologies. In support of the foregoing, Article 3.3 of the
Convention emphasizes the need for anticipatory planned adaptation and mitigation. In the
context of energy adaptation technologies, anticipatory planned adaptation could take
different forms including:

   a) Increasing the ability of physical infrastructure, for instance hydropower installations
      and power distribution and transmission infrastructure, to withstand the impacts of
      climate change;
   b) Increasing the flexibility of potentially vulnerable energy systems that are managed
      by humans such as wood fuel stocks;
   c) Accelerating the uptake of renewable energy to enhance its overall contribution in the
      national energy supply matrix in order to improve reliability of supply while
      minimizing adverse environmental impacts;
   d) Improving energy transformation, transmission and end-use efficiency;
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                                                           State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

   e) Reversing trends that increase vulnerability. This could range from reducing human
      activity in vulnerable areas to preserving natural systems that protect against hazards;
   f) Improving public awareness and preparedness. This could include informing the
      public about the risks and possible consequences of climate change, as well as setting
      up early warning systems for extreme weather events.

It is important to point out that the Government has an essential role to play in providing a
policy framework to guide effective adaptation by individuals and firms. Such a framework
may need to embrace some four fundamental key areas, namely:

   •    High-quality climate information and tools for risk management will help to drive
       efficient markets. Improved regional climate predictions will be critical, particularly
       for rainfall and storm patterns.
   •   Land-use planning and performance standards should encourage both private and
       public investment in buildings and other long-lived infrastructure to take account of
       climate change.
   •   Governments can contribute through long-term polices for climate-sensitive public
       goods, including natural resources protection, coastal protection, and
   •   emergency preparedness, and
   •   A financial safety net may be required for the poorest in society, who are likely to be
       the most vulnerable to the impacts and least able to afford protection including

Energy Technologies for adaptation to Climate change impacts

Technology can potentially play an important role in adapting to climate change. Efficient
cooling systems, improved seeds, desalination technologies, and other engineering solutions
represent some of the options that can lead to improved outcomes and increased coping under
conditions of climate change.

To enable the vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change and so reduce their
vulnerability, part of the solution involves the use of technology and its transfer from place to
place. Adaptation comprises hard technologies, such as fast growing nitrogen fixing fuel
wood species, renewable energy technologies, energy production, conversion, transformation,
transmission and distribution technologies, and soft technologies, such as insurance schemes,
agro-forestry management systems, as well as information and knowledge. A successful
adaptation strategy would typically combine both hard and soft technologies.

In the context of adaptation, technology is needed to facilitate reduction of vulnerability to
the impacts of climate change by helping improve the prevailing social, economic and
environmental conditions and management practices in a system or sector. This role may be
identified in four distinct areas, namely:

i. Energy information development and awareness-raising
   This entails technologies for data collection and information development, which is an
   important prerequisite for adaptation, particularly as it, enables for identification of
   adaptation needs and priorities, among other things. It also involves the necessary skills and
   capacity for efficient and effective information packaging and dissemination.

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ii. Energy programmes planning and design
   This involves the process of deciding what action(s) could best be taken and where and
   when this could best be done. Skills are thus required for effective energy planning and
   design of effective strategies. It is reiterated that the availability of adequate energy activity
   data and enabling policy and legislative environment, coupled with realistic assumptions
   for future demand projections is of fundamental importance. There is therefore a need for
   effective technology transfer to facilitate

iii. Implementation
   Technology for implementation concerns the creation of necessary framework for
   implementing adaptation strategies developed.

iv. Monitoring and evaluation
  To ensure that energy technology transfer plans are implemented, the performance of
  technological interventions need to be periodically or continuously evaluated against the
  original objectives.

It is emphasized that the technology transfer activities must relate to and serves the
overarching national development priorities, namely poverty alleviation, economic growth
and employment creation, among others. Ultimately, the technologies transferred must enable
the country achieve sustainable development objectives.

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Mudslide is also a common occurrence during rainy season.

Flows of technology transfer in the context of adaptation

Technology transfer concerns the flow of experience, know-how and equipment between and
within countries (IPCC 2000), and has long been a priority under the Convention. Improving
access to technology information, creating enabling environments, including removal of
barriers, and strengthening local capacity are key elements of an overall integrated
framework to enhance technology transfer.

And, given that the overwhelming majority of global GHG emissions are from the energy
sector, clean energy supply alternatives have emerged as the dominant focus for technology
transfer. These include renewable energy technologies (e.g. photovoltaic systems, wind
turbines) and high efficiency combustion technologies.

Adaptation to climate change is already taking place in Kenya, but on a limited basis.
However, the adaptation measures are rarely undertaken in response to climate change alone.
Besides, adaptive capacity is uneven across and within societies and depending on the
prevailing local circumstances. In the context of energy, the impacts of climate change
include the following:

   •   Diversifying energy supply in order to broaden the supply mix
   •   Promote energy efficiency and conservation (improved efficient stoves)
   •   Biomass substitution (Biogas, LPG,)
   •   Diversify electricity supply sources
   •   Scale up exploitation of renewable energy sources
   •   Increasing flood control structures, building weirs, rain water harvesting,
   •   Improve efficiency of water use
   •   Water pricing
   •   Measures to control vector and water-borne disease epidemics
   •   Public awareness campaigns

All communities have inherent abilities to deal with certain variations in climate, yet adaptive
capacities are unevenly distributed, both across the country and within communities. The
poor and marginalized have historically been most at risk, and are most vulnerable to the
impacts of climate change.

Links between energy, other sectors and climate change adaptation

Energy is intimately linked to other environmentally sensitive sectors such as agriculture,
water, environment and infrastructure. This means any effect of either of the sectors also
negatively affect energy services.

As agricultural productivity of land decline due to climate change stimuli, there is likelihood
that more land will be cleared in an attempt to bridge the productivity deficit. The effect of
such land use change will be among other things, a reduction of wood fuel, accelerated
deforestation and land degradation. All such effects will contribute to the reduction of the
greenhouse gas sink and ultimately intensify the climate change problem. Also, the declining
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agricultural crop output means increasing poverty and hence inability to afford energy
services. This means that the adaptation strategies undertaken in the agriculture sector will
have positive effects on energy sector.

Water and energy are inextricably linked. Shortage of water deepens energy poverty by
reducing the recharge of hydropower reservoirs and the effects on growth of energy crops.
Energy is required for water extraction and distribution. Water on the other hand is required
for hydro electricity generation and plays a key role at intermediate phases of all electricity
generation. In thermal electricity generation, water is a key conduit for preparing and
transporting fuel. In terms of adaptation to climate change, all the respective strategies would
have positive outcomes on energy. For instance, catchments protection helps conserve
hydropower facilities.

Environment is the ultimate source of energy. All activities for production, transformation
and consumption of energy impact on the environment. Indeed, environmental degradation is
heightened by lack of energy resources. This shows an intrinsic connection between energy
and the environment. The ideals of sustainable environmental activities are equally beneficial
to sustainable energy use including adaptation measures for climate change. Energy is
expended in infrastructure development and maintenance. The clearing of land for
infrastructure development such as roads leads to greenhouse gases emission from the
associated energy combustion.

In a nutshell, adaptation measures to minimize the effects of climate change on the foregoing
sectors will contribute in some way to the adaptation efforts on climate change from the
energy sector.

Climate change will lead to adverse effects on the biomass and hydropower resources.
Sustained increase in average temperature will affect such weather parameters as rainfall. The
reduced rainfall amount in various places on the other hand, is likely to lead to decreased tree
cover and consequently a reduction of wood fuel supply. As shown in the Plate below, the
effect of charcoal harvesting is more pronounced in the arid and semi-arid lands which are
more vulnerable considering the fact that they are already experiencing critical moisture
deficits. This coupled with the non-climate change stresses, will lead to heightened levels of
lack of sufficient energy resources.

The frequency and extent of climate related disasters has been increasing over the past years.
The region has suffered from numerous droughts and floods. Large areas of Kenya and Sudan
are affected by drought. The 1997 El-Nino is estimated to have cost Kenya USD 20 million
due to reduced hydroelectric power generation which resulted in frequent blackouts and
power rationing. Dealing with disasters calls for development of early warning systems and
disaster preparedness schemes. In addition, both floods and droughts could be mapped and
valued so that resources are allocated to help in coming up with appropriate management

In summary, the efforts to cope with the impacts of climate change and attempts to promote
sustainable development share common goals and determinants including access to resources.
The melting glaciers and loss of mountain snow will increase flood risk during the wet season
and threaten dry-season water supplies. Energy is needed as a vital input for economic
growth. On the other hand, economic growth is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for
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poverty eradication. It generates the livelihood opportunities poor people need to get
themselves out of poverty and provides the means to finance important services. This means
that climate change affects energy, energy affects the economy and the economy affects the
welfare of the citizens. Poverty on the other hand makes the poor vulnerable to the adverse
effects of climate variability.

Climate mitigation from energy sector

Energy is pivotal for economic and social development. Improved access to the poorer
sections of the Kenyan population would contribute directly to poverty alleviation. The
energy policy seeks to address the issue of access to affordable and appropriate energy
services which must and should grow significantly to improve the living standards of the
country’s growing population. The development and promotion of renewable energy
resources in the country targeted at rural communities, stands to provide sustainable
alternative energy options to problems related to deforestation, desertification, environmental
pollution, greenhouse gas emission, global warming and climate change and over dependence
on fossil fuels.

Moreover, the energy sector contributes the largest proportion of anthropogenic greenhouse
gas emissions. This is mainly through the fossil fuel combustion from the transport sector,
among other sectors. The biomass energy sector may be a net sink for green house gases if
the rate of its harvest is lower than the rate of replenishment. Generally, the renewable energy
sources are environmentally benign and scaling up their exploitation yields positive effects
towards the mitigation of climate change.

There are several renewable energy sources in the country. These include solar, wind, biogas
and hydropower, among others. So far, only solar photovoltaic, has been harnessed for
household lighting. The penetration of solar home systems is currently estimated at 300,000
units. On the other hand, a number of wind and small, micro- and Pico-hydropower projects
have been implemented. The effort is however insignificant given the enormous unexploited
potential. In addition, renewable energy options often include the use of wastes to produce
high valued and useful energy.

Furthermore, the use of renewable energy has the advantage of producing little or no carbon
emissions. As earlier indicated, Wind power, solar photovoltaic, biomass derived from
sources that are continuously replenished, and hydropower have no net carbon emissions,
hence the assertion that they are environmentally friendly. The applications of each of the key
renewable energy sources are briefly described hereunder indicating their status of
development in Kenya.

The actions to mitigate climate change impacts as well as towards the achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) also positively contribute to the achievement of the
sustainable national energy development objectives. This convergence stems from the fact
that to meet all the eight MDGs will require an adequate supply of energy as one of the key
inevitable drivers. To ensure adequate energy supply, Kenya like other developing countries
requires adequate and predictable financial resources, which have nonetheless continued to

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Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation from Energy activities

The IPCC identified a set of generic technological options for reducing net CO2 emissions to
the atmosphere.

i.     Improving energy efficiency

Climate change mitigation benefits can accrue by improving the efficiency of energy
conversion, transport and end-use, including enhancing less energy-intensive economic
activities. For instance, energy conversion efficiencies have been increased in the production
of electricity by improved turbines which embrace combined heating, cooling and electric
power generation systems thus reducing CO2 emissions.

ii.    Switch to less carbon-intensive fossil fuels

Switching from high-carbon to low-carbon fuels can be cost-effective especially where
suitable supplies of natural gas are available. There had been consultations between Kenya
and Tanzania with regard to the natural gas deposits available at Songo sites in Tanzania and
with view to Kenya importing the natural gas for power generation.

iii.   Increased use of low- and near-zero-carbon energy sources

Deep reductions in emissions from stationary sources could be achieved by widespread
switching to renewable energy or nuclear power (IPCC, 2001a). Harnessing of renewable
energy resources such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal and tidal power e.t.c can
potentially make significant contributions to fossil fuel displacement. However, it is noted
that many of the renewable sources face constraints related to cost, intermittency of supply,
land use and other environmental impacts.

iv.    Sequestering CO2 through the enhancement of natural, biological sinks

Globally, natural sinks for CO2 already play a significant role in determining the
concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. They may be enhanced to take up carbon from the
atmosphere. Tree planting efforts are enhancing these sinks through agricultural and forestry
practices which significantly improve their storage capacity. This however faces challenges
by land use practices, and social or environmental factors.

v.     CO2 capture and storage

The CO2 capture and storage generated by fuel combustion or released from industrial
processes, and then storing it away from the atmosphere for a very long time is a new
approach being developed. The technology is yet to be implemented by developing countries.

Adaptation options and strategies for biomass and electrical power production
Biomass production
The government in collaboration with other stakeholders should: -
   i.     Initiate large-scale afforestation programmes to maintain standing stocks, reduce
          soil degradation and reclaim soil fertility.
   ii.    Encourage establishment of environmental clubs in schools.
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   iii.    Encourage use of efficient stoves.
   iv.     Encourage use of alternatives energy sources such as kerosene, electricity, solar
           and wind power.
   v.      Encourage recycling of agricultural crop residues and initiate/support research on
           large-scale briquette of rice, husks, sugarcane waste and coconut shells for
           charcoal production.
   vi.     Support of digesters for biogas production.
   vii.    Coordinate research on energy related activities between government departments,
           rural farmers and other institutions
   viii.   Establish an inventory of fuel wood consumption patterns and practices in Kenya
           and also determine rates of deforestation in relation to fuel wood requirements.
   ix.     Encourage agro forestry activities in the rural areas.
   x.      Encourage research on growth and use of sugarcane, napier grass and papyrus as
           alternative sources of fuel wood
   xi.     Encourage production of fuel oil from plants e.g. ethanol from sugarcane, cassava
           and maize.
   xii.    Intensify efforts to reduce human population growth rate with a view to reducing
           demand for agricultural land and fuel wood.

Electrical power production
The government in collaboration with relevant stakeholders will: -
   • Support efforts to expand hydropower generation to different parts of the country
       taking advantage of the various rainfall regimes. The proposed government power
       development plan for the period 1997 – 2017 indicates eight additional power
       generation projects with a combined capacity of 550.5 Mw.
   • Expand and intensify rural electrification programmes in order to reduce relevance on
       biomass. The net advantage will be conservation of forests and vegetation cover as
       well as protection of the water catchment areas.
   • Expand the exploitation of geothermal reserves in the Rift Valley to reduce reliance
       on hydropower.
   • Expand electricity production from conventional thermal sources to other towns for
       use during the dry period. This will reduce transmission costs as well as reduce
       reliance on hydropower which is more vulnerable to climate change.
   • Encourage installation of wind power for generation of electricity, pumping water and
       driving power drills especially in the rural areas. This will reduce reliance on
   • Popularize the use of solar energy for electricity generation and water heating to
       reduce reliance on hydroelectricity.
   • Expand installation of solar water heaters in residential premises, hotels, toilets,
       hospitals and industries.

On-going and planned activities to mitigate climate change
   • Wood fuel resource promotion and replenishment programme:- the programme
      encourages rural residents to incorporate biomass crops into their farming activities to
      take care of their future biomass energy needs. If many farmers respond positively
      then there will generally be an increase in the biomass cover over most parts of the
      country. This will increase the carbon sequestration.
   • Research and development of fuel- efficient burners:- the main component of this
      programme is the dissemination of KCJ and the “Maendeleo” stove. As more and
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       more households adopt these stoves, consumption of wood or charcoal will fall. The
       savings can be translated into conservation of woody biomass, which in turn will have
       a positive impact on GHG sinks. Currently, the level of penetration is in the region of
       30% of the targeted population.
   •   Household energy, solar photovoltaic and LPG standardization studies-three studies
       are being undertaken to develop a household energy strategy, identify inherent
       barriers against fast adoption of solar photovoltaic and standardizing the LPG
       cylinders to facilitate easy gas refills. The result of the studies will be used to
       formulate focused policy measures for mitigating and /or avoiding the potential GHG
   •   Feasibility studies on mini/micro hydro technology-primary results from a pilot mini
       /micro hydro feasibility study in Meru District, as a stand- alone option for
       community power supply has been a great success. Consequently, in areas with
       suitable sites, the mini/micro hydro technology can be a useful alternative source of
       power for neighbourhoods. This source of energy is GHG emission free.
   •    Development of renewable energy technology standards – standards are being
       developed for solar batteries, solar cells and wind generators. The standards are
       intended to remove sub-standard products from the market, enhance efficiency in
       harnessing solar and wind energy resources and increase competitiveness of Kenyan
       manufactured solar and wind harnessing devices.
   •   Promotion of Compact Fluorescent Lamps(CFLs) - the Kenya Power and Lighting
       Company (KPLC), is promoting efficient light bulbs, such as CFLs to replace the
       incandescent lamps. The former are 75% more efficient than the latter. If the above
       action is achieved, it will have positive impact on GHG emission avoidance.
   •   Biogas development –use of biogas because of the changing climate.

5.3 Indigenous Knowledge in coping with Climate Change

Globally, there is increasing acknowledgement of the relevance of indigenous knowledge as
an invaluable and under-used knowledge reservoir, which presents developing countries,
particularly Africa, with a powerful asset in environmental conservation and natural disaster
management. Specifically, from time immemorial, natural disaster management in Africa has
been deeply rooted in local communities, which apply and use indigenous knowledge to
master and monitor climate and other natural systems and establish early warning indicators
for their own benefit and future generations.

In the traditional African worldview, environmental resources such as land, water, animals
and plants are not just production factors with economic significance but also have their place
within the sanctity of nature. Certain places have a special spiritual significance and are used
as locations for rituals and sacrifices, for example, sacred grooves, shrines, mountains and
rivers. These locations are quite often patches of high biodiversity, which are well conserved
and protected by the community. Indigenous knowledge is therefore an essential element in
the development process and the livelihoods of many local communities

In Kenya, local communities had well-developed traditional indigenous knowledge systems
for environmental management and coping strategies. This knowledge had, and still has, a
high degree of acceptability amongst the majority rural populations in our country, which it
has been preserved. The knowledge is passed from generation to generation. It is not
documented and is specific for different peoples. Using this indigenous knowledge the
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indigenous and local communities are able to predict weather and climatic patterns. They do
this by monitoring the number of animals, birds and insects, and watch their movements and
behavior. They wait for the flowering or fruiting of certain plants and watch when specific
types of trees shed their leaves. The wind and clouds play an integral part of these
observations. It can be verified scientifically and has proved time and again to be accurate.
The communities can easily identify with this knowledge and it facilitates their understanding
of certain modern scientific concepts for environmental management including disaster
prevention, preparedness, response and mitigation.

A major challenge that Kenya continues to face is how to reconcile indigenous knowledge
and modern science without substituting each other, respecting the two sets of values, and
building on their respective strengths. Recent studies in the country on the application and
use of traditional knowledge in environmental conservation and natural disaster management
cited examples of areas where such knowledge is still prevalent and harnessed.

As for coping with changes in the weather, traditional indigenous knowledge on storm routes
and wind patterns enables people to design their disaster management long in advance by
constructing types of shelter, wind break structures, walls, and homestead fences
appropriately. Similarly, knowledge of local rain corridors enables them to prepare for storms
since a hydrological disaster is obviously unmanageable when it starts. Knowing the colour
of clouds that may carry hailstones enables people to run for cover. Knowledge that
prolonged drought is followed by storm, thunder and lightening during the first few minutes
enables people to prepare or expect a disaster. A change in birds’ cries or the onset of their
mating period indicates a change of season.

Similar application and use of indigenous knowledge for disaster management is also
prevalent in Kenya. Floods can be predicted from the height of birds’ nests near rivers. Moth
numbers can predict drought. The position of the sun, and the cry of a specific bird on trees
near rivers may predict onset of the rainy season for farming. The presence of certain plant
species, for example, Ascolepis capensis indicates a low water table.

There is however concern that due to problems associated with climate change, this
knowledge is disappearing and a therefore need to take measures to ensure its appreciation
and protection. A blend of approaches and methods from science and technology and from
traditional knowledge opens avenues towards better disaster prevention, preparedness,
response and mitigation.

Despite the prevalent application and use of indigenous knowledge by Indigenous and local
communities, it has not been harnessed to fit into the current scientific framework for
environmental conservation and natural disaster management in Kenya. As a result, there is a
general lack of information and understanding of the need to integrate or mainstream
indigenous knowledge into scientific knowledge systems for sustainable development in the

Recently United Nations Environment Programmme (UNEP) initiated a project in Kenya,
Tanzania, South Africa and Swaziland to harness and promote the use of indigenous
knowledge in environmental conservation and natural disaster management through training
and access to and exchange of information. The information collected and analyzed through
the project is expected to enhance understanding of the need to integrate indigenous
knowledge in development processes. The information will further help in poverty and
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disaster risk reduction as well as in fostering involvement of all constituents including the
local communities. The project should be seen as part of a new interest in traditional African
knowledge systems, which are still prevalent despite the numerous interruptions, by
development interventionists.

Kenyan communities have a long record of adapting to the impacts of weather and climate
changes through a range of practices for example, crop diversification, irrigation, water
management etc. However current climate change trends poses novel risks which are outside
the range of experience, nevertheless there is evidence that adaptation measures that also
consider climate change are being implemented on limited basis.

Nomadic pastoralists provide a livelihood for people in the arid and semi arid areas in Kenya
and other Sahelian region of Africa. Some of the examples are;

    •    shifting cultivation was a traditional practice in which land was never over used or
         repeatedly cultivated season after season and year after year. This method
         cultivation has sustained hundreds of distinct cultures in the fragile ecosystem; the
         key to this success is sustainability. Regarding land-use conservation, land was left
         to rest and covered again with plants and leaves to enable it to accumulate vegetable
    •    Mixed crop cultivation practice enables leguminous crops to restore nitrogen in the
         soil for other food plants.
    •    Knowledge of when to expect long or short rainy seasons enables the farmers to plan
         appropriately which crop is suited for a particular season.
    •    Traditional indigenous knowledge terminologies of types of soil and their reaction to
         water enables the people to use each type of soil appropriately by planting the
         correct crops.
    •    Local communities use their intimate knowledge of plants, soils, animals, climate,
         and seasons, not to exploit nature but to co-exist alongside it. This involves careful
         management, control of population, the use of small quantities but a wide diversity
         of plants and animals, small surpluses, and minimum wastage.
    •    Indigenous knowledge management of nature has ensured the survival of many
         people in fragile habitats. But it is a knowledge centered not on exploitation but on
         the harmony of the natural world. All flora and fauna have a place in an ordered
         universe made up of humankind, nature, and spirits. And indigenous cultures help to
         protect the natural world from destruction through religion and rituals.
    •    Plants provide food, medicines, pesticides, poisons, building materials; animals
         provide meat, clothes, string, implements and oil.
    •    Subsistence farmers produce to meet their family needs without attempting to
         dominate nature or exploit it excessively. They developed technologies, which act in
         harmony with nature unlike science; indigenous knowledge is full of beliefs, which
         have not been explained, in rational terms.

5.4 Early Warning Systems

Early warning systems are any system biological or technical in nature deployed by an
individual or group to inform of a future danger. Its purpose is to enable the user of the
warning system to prepare for the danger and act accordingly to mitigate against or avoid it.
In the context of climate change most countries have put in place early warning system with
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the objective to reduce the loss of life, property damage, and social and economic disruptions
caused by natural disasters. The four main categories of hazards that bring about disasters
     • Geological hazards
     • Hydrometeorological hazards including droughts
     • Fires and other environmental hazards
     • Technological hazards

These hazards are all different in nature but share a common conceptual approach for their
early warning system, prevention, responses, mitigation and recovery as a process.
An effective early warning system essentially comprises of:-
    1. Data gathering using various systems and methods
    2. Data analysis and provision of information by various information providers at
       various levels of government. These give the likelihood, level of exposure, potential
       damage and areas to be affected.
    3. Dissemination of information using appropriate communication system so as to reach
       the target group at risk and impress on the potential risk they are in.
    4. Packaging the information for disaster preparedness and mitigation actions, especially
       actions by emergency service providers, the individuals, communities and other
       groups at risk, and the government.
    5. Speedy response and actions taken by individuals, communities and emergency
       welfare providers to reduce losses and improve recovery –protection from hazards
    6. Recovery and development planning as a longterm hazard minimization and risk
       management strategies.

Kenyans greatest hazard is drought which leads to famine disaster and floods. Therefore the
country early warning systems are geared towards addressing food shortages because these
are the ultimate and worst impacts of drought and famines.

The country has a well-established early warning system targeting drought and famine
involving several government agencies, regional organization and Non Governmental
Organizations (NGOs). The government organizations involved in Early warning are: Kenya
Meteorological Department (KMD), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Kenya National Bureau
of Statistics (KNBS), Department of Resource survey and Remote sensing (DRSRS) and
office the President (OP). The KMD provides daily weather forecast, seasonal weather
outlook, and distribution of rainfall, anomalies maps and bulletins on crop performance. It
also provides information on likelihood of regions receiving above normal precipitation
leading to incidences of floods. MoA disseminates information on crop hectarage and yield
production estimates. KNBS has data on human population and socio-economic indicators.
DRSRS uses remote sensing to monitor environment conditions. The OP has Arid Lands
Resource Management Programme (ALRMP), which has an early warning component
covering ten arid lands districts. This is a decentralized early warning system, which targets
households, and communities using locally recruited monitors. The categories of indicators
assessed under this programme include rural economic indicators, human welfare indicators
and environmental indicators. The results of these assessments are disseminated using regular
bulletins. Predetermined warning stages are used to facilitate interpretation of results and
elicit response.

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Box 5.1: Case Study on Rapid Response mechanism to drought of 1999/2000

  Kenya experienced a severe drought in 1999/2000 occasioned by failure of rains in two
  subsequent seasons. The result of this drought was massive failure of crops, depleted
  pasture and severe water shortage. Severe impacts of this drought were recorded in all
  sectors of the economy mainly due the impacts on water resources, which affected the
  production of hydro-electricity in the country. To respond to this crisis the government
  issued an appeal for assistance to drought stricken population in December 2000 on the
  basis of the early information and rapid assessment in the worst areas. Also an appeal
  was sent for technical assistance in improving food aid targeting methodologies. Food
  was distributed by NGOs at district levels. Relief committees were established at the
  community level to aid in food distribution. A network of coordinating mechanisms was
  strengthened at both national and local level to deal with drought. The most important
  body was the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG), which was coordinated at
  the Office of the President and the membership, included relevant government agencies
  and development partners. This body met monthly to review and determine food aid
  allocation based on assessment of need and availability

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International Response

World Food Programmme (WFP) reports an adequate food pipeline with pre-positioning of
food stocks ahead of the rainy season. The Emergency Operations (EMOP) pipeline is
sufficient to meet the immediate needs, however, the food may have to be extended to cover
additional beneficiaries not covered in the EMOP.

In Garissa, UNICEF is carrying out distribution of supplementary food for children, water
purification tablets, plastic sheeting, toilet slabs and mosquito nets.

A coordination meeting was organized by OCHA on 24 November, 2007? with UN, NGO
and Red Cross agencies and representatives from key line ministries to discuss and assess the
current and future response to the flood crisis. It was stressed that there is need to strengthen
coordination at all levels.

UN agencies have recommended bi-weekly sectoral meetings to review the flood response in
the different sectors. These meetings would inform bi-weekly flood-coordination meetings. It
was noted that there is a need for regular, timely and systematic channeling of information
from the District Steering Groups (DSGs) to Nairobi and coordination at the district, Nairobi
level and with NGO partners. The Kenya Food Security Group with support from FAO will
use its website to include recent updates and assessments of the floods crises

5.5 Disaster and drought preparedness and management
Disasters appear to be increasing in both frequency and their intensity. This is artributed to
environmental degradation, increase and changes in human activities and technological
advancement. This causes a serious disruption of the functioning of a society/community
thus causing major human, property, social-economic or environmental losses which exceed
the ability of the affected society or community to cope using its own resources.

Kenya has experienced several kinds of disaster. These include: drought, famine floods,
terrorism (bomb Blast), landslides, earthquakes, HIV/ AIDS and disease (malaria cholera)
epidemics, food poisoning (by aflatoxins), Army Worms, transport accidents and fires.

There are six (6) disaster management elements, which constitute a comprehensive or holistic
approach to disaster management. These are response, recovery, development, prevention,
mitigation and preparedness

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                                             IMPACT                           RESPONSE






       Fig: 5.1

       Disaster prevention are measures designed to impede the occurrence of the disaster event
       and/or prevent harmful effects on the community, e.g. Hazard control, building of dams,
       dykes to prevent floods strong infrastructure to withstand floods, vaccination/Immunization
       Programme and planting trees to prevent desertification

       Disaster mitigation is activities aimed at reducing and minimizing the disruption and
       destructive effects of a disaster to lessen vulnerability of the elements at risk. They include
       physical, economic and management measures

       1.     Physical Measures:
              • Strong construction and engineering works
              • Land zoning (Physical planning measures)
              • Building codes
              • Keeping high density population away from hazards proximity
              • Regulating land-use
              • Encourage rehearsals – general and specific

       2.     Economic Measures:
              • Diversity business and Agriculture (when one fails, the other survives)
              • Consider insurance cover
              • Economic Incentives e.g. agricultural inputs etc.

       3.     Management Policies:
              • Public awareness to community
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       •   Research and development
       •   Encourage relevant technical expertise
       •   Strengthen the capacity of responders and decision-makers
       •   Conflict resolution management
       •   Have early warning systems
       •   Resettlement Plans

Disaster preparedness comprises of activities aimed at reducing the impacts, losses and
damages from a disaster that may occur in future by government, organizations, communities
and individuals. Preparedness strategy is based on the following:
   • Having integrated disaster plans
   • Building of resource base
       - Personnel      where, time serviceability state
       - Equipment
   • Training of personnel in anticipation of future disaster
   • Having disaster, organization at all levels
   • Risk assessment
   • Information systems
   • Warning systems
   • Rehearsal

Disaster responses are measures taken immediately prior to, during and following disaster
event such measures are directed towards saving of life (survival of maximum number of
people), protecting property and dealing with immediate damages. The measures entails,
rapid assessment of damage/infrastructure, immediate needs, evacuation procedures, search
and rescue, essential services to be provided (water, light, medical, food,
clothing/accommodation and security), relief to meet basic survival needs, first aid and
medical cover and counseling services.

Prolonged relief has to be assessed to determine whether it is caused by lack of food or
purchasing power by the affected. It kills local commerce and creates dependency syndrome.

Disaster recovery comprise of activities that are applied to get the affected community and
nation back to its normal level of functioning. This process involves relief supply,
rehabilitation, restoration, reconstruction (full restoration of all services), physical
reconstruction, medical provisions and counseling.

Development is a creation of capacity and reduction of poverty and associated conditions
(removal of all conditions/factors favorable to disaster).

Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                                    State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya

Table 5.1 adaptation/mitigation/coping strategies in different sectors.

Sector        Adaptation/mitigation option/strategy      Underlying             policy   Key constraints
                                                         framework                       and opportunities
Forestry      Afforestation                              The national energy policy,
               reforestation;                             The national food policy,
              forest management                          The policy on Environment
               reduced deforestation,                    and Development.
              harvested wood product management,         Environment Management
              use of forest products for bio energy to   and Coordination Act, 1999.
              replace fossil fuels use, tree species     Section 46 and 47
              improvement to increase biomass            Forest Act (Cap. 285) of
              productivity and carbon sequestration.     1962 (revised 1982 and
               Improve remote sensing technology for     Timber Act (Cap. 386) of
              analysis of vegetation/soil carbon         1972, Wildlife Act
              sequestration potential mapping land       (Cap.376 of 1976) amended
              use change                                 (1989), Fisheries Act (Cap.
                                                         378) of 1989, Agriculture
              Involve communities in the                 Act (Cap.318) of 1980
              implementation of climate change           (revised 1986), Chief’s
              programmes.                                Authority Act (Cap.128) of
                                                         1970 (revised 1998),

                                                         •       Two basic types of
                                                         abatement options in forestry
                                                         sector        are      being
                                                         implemented i.e expansion
                                                         of stands of trees (e.g.,
                                                         afforestation, reforestation,
                                                         farm        forestry)    and
                                                         conservation of existing
                                                         stands (i.e. protection and
                                                         maximization in recovery).

Water         Conserve and protect watershed areas
              promote community water harvesting
              techniques methods.

              Expand rainwater harvesting,
              water storage and conservation
              water re-use, desalination,
              water use and irrigation efficiency.
              Involve communities in the
              implementation of climate change

Agriculture   Improved crop and grazing land
              restoration of cultivated peaty soils
              anddegraded lands,
              improve rice cultivation techniques and
              livestock and manure management to
              reduce CH4 emissions, Improved
              nitrogen fertilizer application

              Involve communities in the
              implementation of climate change

Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change
                                                     State of Environment Report 2006/7, Kenya


Health      Health action plans,
            emergency medical services,
            improved climate sensitive disease
            surveillance control safe water
            improved sanitation.

Transport   Develop and maintain infrastructure
            Realignment/relocation, design
            standards and planning for roads, rail
            and other infrastructure to cope with
            warming and drainage.
Industry    More efficiency end use electrical
            equipment, heat and power recovery,
            material recycling and substitution,
            control of non CO2 gas emissions

Chapter Five: Coping Mechanisms To Climate Change

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