Nairobi — The United Kingdom has announced a Sh500 million financial aid to Kenya for reforestation as part of efforts to tackle the devastating effects of climate change.
The UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, James Cleverly said Wednesday that the financial support is part of the UK commitment to Kenya when President William Ruto met with the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during last month’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Egypt.
Cleverly made the announcement during a climate change Reception held at the Residence of the British High Commissioner in Nairobi held in honor of two Kenyans Charlot Magayi, Founder, of Mukuru Clean Stoves, and Filip Lovstrom, Founder of ROAM.
“These investment programs are flagship projects as part of the UK-Kenyan strategic partnership,” Cleverly said.
The Foreign Secretary said that the UK government is committed to working closely with Kenya as part of the climate partnership between the two countries.
He noted that the Sh 500 billion funding to Kenya for six climate and green infrastructure projects announced when Prime Minister Sunak met with President Ruto at COP27, will increase geothermal, hydro, and solar energy generation in Kenya.
“I am very pleased about the investment that the UK is doing hand-in-hand with Kenya. so we’ve committed Sh 2 billion shillings of UK funding to back guarantees that will lower risk for investors, encouraging investors and doing so unlocking Sh 12 billion of climate finance for Kenyan projects over next three years,” he said.
Cleverly pointed out that the partnerships will benefit both Kenyans and Brits as they strive to collaborate on mutually beneficial projects to develop economies, and save the planet.
He lauded Kenya’s climate innovators for harnessing tech to transform people’s lives and driving a greener and cleaner economy.
The Foreign Secretary stated that there is a need for countries to work together if the war on climate change is to be won.
He noted that the partnerships between Kenya and UK demonstrate what can be achieved when countries work together towards achieving a common goal.
“Tackling climate change is a challenge. It is not easy and it won’t be resolved overnight, but there are rays of light, and there are many opportunities to be positive. Countries like Kenya are demonstrating sustainable industrialization fueled by renewables and innovation and passion is achievable,” he said.
On her part, Kenya’s First Lady Rachel Ruto said that Kenya is at the fore of climate change advocacy noting that every individual should be involved in these efforts.
While singling out clean energy, the First Lady pointed out that Kenya is among the countries widely involved in the efforts to achieve universal access to modern energy cooking Services by 2028.
She stated that universal access to affordable dependable, and modern energy services by 2030 is a requirement and catalyst for improving the living and working conditions of all people around the world, singling out the poorest and most vulnerable populations who lack modern energy services.
The first lady went on to say that globally, the combined effects of outdoor and household air pollution is associated with 6.7 million premature deaths annually, mainly due to, cooking with unclean, fuels and exposure to emissions from vehicles and motorcycles.
Rachel said that women and children bear the greatest health burden from the use of traditional and inefficient, cooking stoves, which emit large amounts of pollutants that lead to chronic illnesses. and about 23,000 deaths every year.
“No, life should be lost due to an everyday task such as cooking and that is, why Kenya joined many other countries in submitting an ambition to achieve universal access to Modern energy cooking Services by 2028,” she said.
“We must leave. No one behind especially the millions of women and girls around the world who walk long distances to secure looking fuel and suddenly breath in harmful smoke, as they cook,” she added.
The First Lady expressed her commitment to push for clean cooking in the country for the benefit of Kenyans who continue to bear the brunt of unsafe cooking fuel.
Present at the event was British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott and Cabinet Secretary Environment, and Forestry Soipan Tuya among others.