In Summary
  • Climate change is the alteration of weather patterns that lead to extreme events such as a rise in temperatures, excessive rainfall, storms, floods and droughts.

  • The floods that have claimed more than 100 lives in two months are a result of that.

  • Changing temperatures are making malaria to spread to areas where residents only used to read about it in books.

  • Integration of climate change policy responses and actions in all 21 ministries of the national government and the 47 counties is vital.

Debate around climate change dominates the dry season but fades away when it rains. For instance, it was a hot topic when Kenya was experiencing severe drought a few months ago, before the heavy rains that are wreaking havoc in various parts of the country began.   

The discussions prompted Deputy President William Ruto, in February, to issue a 90-day moratorium on timber harvesting in public and community forests, ordering Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko to form a task force on the wanton destruction of forests.

The Green Belt Movement’s Marion Kamau-led 10-member team has since handed in its report, recommending an overhaul of the Kenya Forest Service board and management.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Predictably, the climate change debate has since waned.

Climate change simply refers to alteration of weather patterns that lead to extreme events such as a rise in temperatures, excessive rainfall, storms, floods and droughts.

In less than 10 months, Kenya has felt the full brunt of climate change. The floods that have claimed more than 100 lives in two months are a result of that.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that climate change will cause some 250,000 additional deaths a year — from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress — between 2030 and 2050 as it provides a conducive environment for the spread of malaria and dengue fever, among other vector-borne diseases.

The ‘Economic Survey 2018’ report indicates that malaria has remained one of the top-two killer diseases in Kenya with counties categorised by the Ministry of Health as ‘low-risk areas’, such as Nairobi and parts of central Kenya, witnessing increased cases.

ENDEMIC ZONES

Page 1 of 2