Nakuru County advances climate planning by identifying hazards and conducting Vulnerability Assessments
Nakuru County in Kenya has conducted the first Risk and Vulnerability Assessment workshop as part of developing its Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plan. This SEACAP will feed into the five-year County Integrated Development Plan that guide Kenyan counties’ development activities.
In the wake of rapid urbanisation and widespread anthropogenic activities, Kenyan counties are continually exposed to the impacts of climate change. The most common natural hazards being weather-related, including floods, droughts, landslides, thunderstorms, wildfires, and extreme temperatures. Hazards have increased in number and frequency and their impacts are becoming harsher on communities. Nakuru County, a signatory of CoM SSA, is developing a Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plan (SEACAP) to identify and manage the impact of such hazards in the county.
The SEACAP process is built on continuous stakeholder participation and engagement to identify and define shared risks, vulnerabilities, targets and climate actions. However, with coronavirus-related restrictions, CoM SSA signatories such as Nakuru County are finding innovative ways to continue engaging stakeholders for climate planning through hybrid workshop formats.
Nakuru County Government in collaboration with CoM SSA partner, GIZ organised a workshop to engage stakeholders on a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA) for Nakuru county.
Assessing vulnerability to climate change is an important step for defining the risks posed by climate change. The assessment also provides information for identifying measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The RVA was designed specifically to cater to the coronavirus restrictions in Kenya by integrating virtual inputs along with participants in a physical space. Stakeholders among those participating physically included county staff, civil society organisations, women and youth group representatives, as well as private sector representatives.
The RVA workshop, guided by technical inputs from GIZ’s local partners ICLEI Africa and ACTS, gave local stakeholders a chance to ratify and input towards the climate hazards and sectors identified to be affecting Nakuru. Virtual participants added inputs and technical introductions, while in-person participants discussed worksheets and pre-identified questions to assess the findings. The stakeholders gave comments that will translate into next steps: for instance, the climate scenarios should be localised to encourage targeted action planning and climate requires multi-stakeholder cooperation as it is a universal issue.
The county acting director Ms. Grace Karanja for Department of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources said:
“Our key priority points as a county between 2018 -2022 include; water security, green energy production, ecosystem conservation for sustainable economic development, food security, climate resilient infrastructure, knowledge management and community capacity building, and coordination of climate change action.”
The adaptation plan will keep the county a step ahead of the rest through the SEACAP’s detailed planning, informed by primary data generated through baseline surveys, stakeholder consultations, and detailed secondary scientific research.
With the support of CoM SSA, a programme co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Nakuru County’s SEACAP is going to form part of the key plans that will inform the next County Integrated Development Planning (CIDP). The CIDP is the master guide to the implementation of projects through the tenure of a county’s political administration regime.