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Governor Wanga urges developed nations to deliver promise on climate change action

by kenya-tribune

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga has called on developed countries to deliver on their commitment to addressing climate change.

The governor said developing nations should be helped to enable them to put more effort into climate change mitigation measures.

Earlier this week, Ms Wanga assented to Homa Bay County Climate Change Bill 2022.

The county assembly has begun formulating the County Climate Change Finance Regulations Bill 2022 which will give guidelines on how funds meant to deal with climate change will be spent.

If it is passed, the devolved unit will be in a position to benefit from grants meant to deal with the effects of climate change.

In Homa Bay, the funds will be used towards helping families affected by drought and floods.

Ms Wanga said there is a need to put more effort into climate change mitigation strategies.

“We must shift to resilience and adaptation in the face of harsh climatic changes,” she said.

Governor Wanga was speaking while leading a panel session at the ongoing COP27 conference in Egypt, where she sought to address the fundamental issue of how governments can make sure that risk-reduction and adaptation strategies are integrated at the local level.

The governor supported the promotion of adaptation and resilience within the communities by highlighting climate resilient infrastructure, climate-smart agriculture, capacity building, and awareness creation on climate change adaptation and resilience.

She based her argument on experiences in Homa Bay County and other Great Lake counties.

Ms Wanga also told the world to speed up climate change mitigation programs in order to save Lake Victoria which she said was threatened by global warming.

The lake has risen and displaced hundreds of families in Homa Bay and Kisumu counties.

Some of the people who had homes along the shores of the lake have been away from their land for two years.

According to Governor Wanga, her administration is already implementing local adaption strategies, such as promoting the use of solar-powered rural water boreholes and solar lights in place of electricity.

“We are encouraging clean cooking initiatives for women-led households, fish markets, and county referral hospitals. We are also greening our streets, parks, and public spaces to reduce carbon emission and mitigate surface runoff,” she said.

Homa Bay county is implementing progarmmes like the Youth for Trees Program to enable youth to increase tree cover among other adaptation measures that the current administration is already integrating locally.

Governor Wanga used the opportunity to appeal to the development partners, stakeholders and climate change enthusiasts to support her with institutional capacity building on climate adaptation.

“We need technical and financial support to enable us to accomplish all that we have started to be a part of the team that wants to save the planet from climate change,” she said.

During the summit, the governor met the new Kenyan Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya and deliberated on climate change focus programs for the counties.

The CS said the government is keen on working with counties to ensure they receive support to manage climate change-related programs on the grounds.

“Many of our counties have passed climate change-related laws and now qualify for funding through the national treasury from the next financial year,” Ms Tuya said.

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