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Kenya launches $34.5m project to boost climate resilience in arid lands

Kenya on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 launched a project worth about $34.5 million (3.4 billion shillings) to boost climate resilience in eleven arid and semi-arid counties.

Ukur Yatani
Ukur Yatani, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning

Ukur Yatani, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning, said this in Nairobi.

Yatani said the project, dubbed “Towards Ending Drought Emergencies” (TWENDE), would leverage ecosystem-based approaches to strengthen the resilience of farmers and herders in arid lands grappling with climatic shocks.

“The launch of TWENDE project is a milestone in accelerating a low carbon and climate-resilient path targeting economically disadvantaged people,” said Yatani.

He said implementation of the five-year project that would be financed by the Kenya government in conjunction with development partners is expected to transform the livelihoods of 620,000 people.

Also the project would restore 500,000 hectares of rangelands in the eleven drought-prone counties.

Yatani said the launch of the TWENDE project that was domiciled in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) dovetails with Kenya’s quest to leverage on domestic financing to boost climate resilience among vulnerable demographics.

“The project reinforces our resolve to promote locally-led climate actions aimed not only at building resilience, but also improving the livelihoods of climate-vulnerable groups across the country,” said Yatani.

He said Kenya had enacted progressive regulatory and policy frameworks to boost climate financing and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable economic sectors like agriculture, tourism and manufacturing.

“Responding to the climate challenge especially in the era of COVID-19 will require collective and innovative action including significant financial resources from both the public and private sectors,” said Yatani.

Luther Anukur, Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said the launch of the TWENDE project would strengthen the capacity of communities in arid lands to cope with recurrent droughts linked to climate change.

“The launch of TWENDE marks a milestone in our drive to build climate resilience for Kenya.

“It will help reduce the cost of climate-change-induced drought on Kenya’s national economy by increasing resilience of the livestock and other land-use sectors in restored and effectively governed rangeland ecosystems,” said Anukur.

Michael O’Brien-Onyeka, Conservation International’s senior vice-president for Africa Field Division, said Kenya should leverage on robust financing, indigenous knowledge and favourable policies to boost the resilience of dryland ecosystems bearing the brunt of climatic stresses.

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