Climate Change

British High Commissioner calls for climate action to tackle Kenya’s drought

NAIROBI (The Southern African Times) – British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott visited Isiolo on Thursday and called for climate action to tackle drought in Kenya.

Marriott’s visit to Isiolo comes several weeks ahead of UN’s global climate talks COP26 to be hosted by the UK.

This year’s drought has placed more than 2.1 million people on the brink of starvation through food insecurity.

Speaking after visiting Shambani, Marriott said the human cost of the drought will be fatal.

“We welcome the Government’s declaration of a national disaster but as droughts become more frequent due to climate change, more must be done to protect food security in Kenya,” Marriott said.

“That’s why I’m here… to get a fair climate deal which stops events like droughts threatening our collective future”.

Following a briefing with the National Disaster Management Agency, the High Commissioner also met with women and communities around a crucial borehole in the village.

Droughts now happen every two to three years, and each drought can mean eight million people need assistance, and Sh1 trillion lost from crop failure.

By hosting COP26 the UK is also driving global action to make sure countries like Kenya can adapt and build strength against climate shocks like droughts, including by putting climate risk at the centre of decision making.

Kenya is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change despite bearing little responsibility; the UK is advocating for a fair climate deal and global action to protect Kenya from future shocks.

Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought affecting parts of the country a national disaster.

Consequently, the President instructed the National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior to spearhead Government’s efforts to assist affected households including water and relief food distribution as well as livestock uptake.

The government said at least two million Kenyans from 10 counties have been affected by drought.

The National Treasury is expected to release Sh2 billion to mitigate the effects of a drought that has ravaged 10 counties in northern parts of the country.

Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the money will be wired to the Ministry of Devolution on Friday, which will be spearheading relief efforts in the affected areas.

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