Kenyan county tackles water woes with locally led climate fund
(Reuters, 10 Sep 2020) The fund in water-short Makueni County channels resources for projects to harvest rainwater and help farmers adapt to climate change - a model now being used elsewhere in Kenya
Exposed to both drought and flash floods, Makueni was one of the first counties in Kenya to set up its own fund to help small-scale farmers cope with worsening climate change impacts, and dedicate local resources to tackling the problem.
Inhabitants of this water-scarce region southeast of Nairobi have often faced hunger during long dry periods, while heavy rains inundate its low-lying savannah with little notice.
Sometimes the two extremes hit the county at the same time.
"We had to think of a quick, locally led solution for our people," said Mary Mbenge, Makueni's chief officer for natural resources, environment and climate change.
That led to the establishment of the Makueni County Climate Change Fund in 2015, with Makueni among the first five Kenyan counties to pass the legislation needed to create such a fund.