Nyandarua County moves to climate-proof itself
Nyandarua County government seeks to spend Sh2.4 billion to implement the Nyandarua Climate Change Action Plan in the next five years. But successful implementation of the plan already adopted by the Nyandarua County Assembly will heavily depend on the goodwill of the community, the national government and development partners. Water, Environment and Climate Change Executive Samuel Wachira says as seed capital, the county government will allocate two per cent of its development budget to implement the plan, which is about Sh40 million annually. He says the main focus for the next five years will be climate change mitigation and adaptation, with a clear emphasis on green energy, water resource management and unexploited opportunities brought by climate change. “It aims at ensuring that we achieve a county with low carbon, climate resilient economy that sustains the livelihoods of its citizens while contributing to the national development agenda. The Action Plan has eight objectives revolving around food and water security, environment conservation, green energy and sustainable financing among others,” said the executive. Mr Mwanzia Kyambia, director of Climate Change, said there is enough evidence of climate change in Nyandarua, a challenge that is systematically erasing the county from the list of top food baskets in the country. “The impact can be told by a flashback to 1981 when the first half of the year recorded a moderate increase in temperatures especially between March and May with a slight increase in precipitation while the second half recorded a mild increase in temperatures of approximately 0.5°C with no change in precipitation. "We have experienced prolonged drought, extreme precipitation, and the risk of floods has been increasing by 25 per cent in the first half of the year compared to the second half of the year. Between 1981-2015, in the first half of the year, at least each day received above 20mm of precipitation, which only occurred for three years in the second half of the year in the same period. Generally, the long rainy seasons have become shorter and drier while the short rainy seasons have become longer and wetter, resulting in floods,” said Mr Kyambia. Parts of the Action Plan will be implemented in collaboration with other county departments guided by the County Integrated Development Plan 3. “In agriculture, the plan will include crop diversification and development of marketing strategies, development of irrigation projects for sustainable agriculture production ending over-reliance on rainfed agriculture, climate-friendly livestock genetic improvement, adoption of modern farming technologies and promotion of drought tolerant quality fodder.” Green energy prominently features in the document, seeking to promote renewable energy as the main source of energy in the county. “Wind and solar-generated power are key sources of energy in the county and include both renewable and non-renewable. Being the second best milk producer in the country after Kiambu County, we have a huge potential for biogas and we also have a huge potential for the generation of electricity by use of wind in Mirangine, Kanjuiri, Shamata, Wanjohi, Kinangop and Kipipiri areas. Other potential sources of energy to be harnessed are waterfalls such as Karuru and solar in Ndogino and Mbuyu areas of Ndaragwa. Potential to generate electricity by use of wind power within the county is found within Kinangop and Kipipiri. A feasibility study will be undertaken to determine the potential of solar energy within Ndogino and Mbuyu areas of Ndaragwa.” Agricultural, water, and green energy-related projects will take a huge amount of the target budget at about Sh1 billion.