Monday, July 29, 2013

Climate Change county level management committee formed

Four months ago, a zebra attacked and ate alive a young boy in Musenke location during the last dry spell in the area. Since then, there has been a number of incidences reported where zebra due to lack of pasture have attacked human beings. In the past when rains could be predicted, pastoralists used to allow their sheep to mate during the dry season between June and July so that the lambs will be born at the beginning of the short rains. Availability of pasture and water ensured survival of lambs; since rains became unpredictable and droughts became more severe, sheep are allowed to mate throughout.    Wild fruits and vegetables used to form part of the daily meals for the residents of Nguruman, nowadays most of these naturally occurring plants no longer exist.

These are some of the stories that came up on the 25th of July 2013 during a meeting that brought together state actors and CSOs to deliberate on the effects of climate change and come up with mitigation strategies that involved all stakeholders.
Provincial administration, the ministry of Agriculture and non state organizations working in three locations – Olkiramatian West, Olkiramatian East and Musenke - attended the meeting where they all agreed that climate change effects are crosscutting and touch on all the areas of their operation. Non state actors present included the organizers of the meeting Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG), Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) and Oldonyo Laro limited.
State actors and SCOs representatives at the meeting

A committee made up of representatives from state and non state actors and headed by the Divisional officer was formed to deal with environmental degradation issues and create a joint worplan – from August to December – of activities and advocacy campaigns.
Top on the committees agenda is controlling illegal harvesting of trees by educating the public on the laws and policies governing harvesting of trees and ensuring that these laws are followed, banning unlicensed power saws, centralizing the issuance of permits to cut trees, creating a fast reaction mechanism in cases in dealing with offenders and banning charcoal trade.
According to meeting proceedings, Most of the charcoal produced in Nguruman is transported to other areas – residents of the three sub-locations use firewood which is easily available. Traders have started cunningly concealing charcoal in crates and bags made for agricultural products to evade impound at the Kenya Wildlife Service Nguruman station.

The new committee shall organize 2 open days where farmers and organizations will discuss and share information on climate change and participate in tree planting exercises.  In addition to this, the committee will hold 5 monthly barazzas, one in each sub-location to create awareness on the issue of climate change in order to involve the public in mitigation efforts.
Mr. Bainito Atonya, Division Agricultural Extension Officer
- Magadi Division - addresses an advocacy meeting.

 One such meeting was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture on 27th July 2013 at Entasopia market where farmers were briefed on the formation of the committee and its mandate.

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