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Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry launches 5 million USD project to boost climate resilience around Lake Victoria basin

1963 Kenyan postage stamp depicting two people harvesting coffee. Issued as part of the first series of stamps after Kenya gained its independence. DSLR with 100mm macro; no sharpening.

Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry will implement a 538 million shillings (about 5 million U.S. dollars) project to promote climate resilience around the Lake Victoria basin, Mohamed Elmi, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said Wednesday.

The project will revolve around ecosystem restoration, adoption of clean energy, and conservation agriculture to help communities adjacent to Africa’s largest freshwater body cope with climate change. “The project will help communities adapt to climate change. It will involve tree planting, soil conservation and use of renewable energy,” Elmi said during the launch of the project in Rarieda, Western Kenya.

According to Elmi, Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) will oversee the implementation of pilot climate resilience projects in western Kenyan counties of Siaya and Busia, where climatic shocks like flooding are rampant. The climate resilience projects around the Lake Victoria basin will be financed through the UN adaptation fund to strengthen coping mechanisms of local communities amid extreme weather events.

Elmi said similar climate resilience projects will also be piloted in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi that are part of the greater Lake Victoria basin. Restoring forest cover in countries sharing the Lake Victoria basin will help tame perennial flooding that is to blame for mass displacement and the spread of infectious diseases.

Ali Said Matano, executive secretary, LVBC said that dwindling biodiversity and flooding linked to climate change has taken a toll on local communities hence the urgency to strengthen their resilience. He said the launch of a climate resilience project around the Lake Victoria basin is expected to unleash benefits including food security, greater adoption of cleaner energy and habitat restoration.

Matano said community-based organizations will be empowered to undertake soil conservation activities, beekeeping, cage fish farming, and the use of solar energy as part of climate resilience.