01 Nov

Maina has been a farmer since the 1990s, his farm has earned him enough to school his kids and bring up his famil Since 2018, his production has been going lower and lower with the changes in weather patterns resulting in longer dryer periods and low rainfall. Currently, he collects 300,000 kg of tea in a harvest from a high of 1 million kg recorded six years ago Maina could lose his livelihood in the next ten years, unable to put a meal on the table if the unfavorable weather conditions in the country continue. The story of Maina is one being faced by a number of Kenyans, with 40 per cent of the country’s workforce being in the agriculture sector. As the effects of climate change become more severe, the country’s agriculture sector which acts as the food basket continues to shrink. In the second quarter of 2022, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics(KNBS) data shows that the agriculture sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP contracted for the third consecutive quarter. This was attributed to unfavourable weather conditions that characterized the last quarter of 2021 and the first half of 2022. ADVERTISEMENT. SCROLL TO CONTINUE READING. “The sector is estimated to have contracted by 2.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2022 compared to a contraction of 0.5 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2021,” said KNBS. According to a report by the Africa Development Bank(AfDB) on the climate change impacts on Africa’s economic growth, Kenya is expected to be among the most-affected countries with high warming by 2030 resulting in associated median change in GDP per capita. It notes that Eastern Africa could experience two distinct precipitation trends resulting from future climate change. “The Global climate models project a progressive wetting in the northern countries, including Ethiopia and northern Kenya, with annual precipitation increase of 12 to 18 per cent as compared to present-day levels in the lowwarming scenario, and as much as 18 to 30 per cent in the high-warming scenario,” AfDB said. Accordingly, the United Republic of Tanzania and Kenya would be more severely affected with projected losses between 6.0 and 4.4 per cent in the high-warming scenario. It further highlights that by mid-century, Eastern Africa’s three powerhouses (Ethiopia, Kenya, and the United Republic of Tanzania) could be exposed to losses amounting to about 10 per cent. “Such high losses for these three countries highlight their current vulnerability to climate variability and weather extremes combined with future rapidly changing precipitation and temperature patterns,” AfDB notes. Kenya’s successive climate change impacts over the past 10 years have resulted in socio-economic losses estimated at 3 – 5 per cent of the GDP annually despite having negligible global GHG emissions, it notes. This means that it can no longer be business as usual, every Kenyan needs to realize how we can reduce climate change. ADVERTISEMENT. SCROLL TO CONTINUE READING. Meanwhile, Kenya has been making strides in averting the climate change crisis, for instance, the country has developed its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) and joint crediting mechanisms which were submitted in 2015. The two initiatives aim to reduce emissions by 30 per cent relative to the BAU scenario by 2030. This target was taken as half of the potential emission reduction by 2030, the country is also mainstreaming climate change adaptation and resilience in all sectors. President William Ruto during the UN General Assembly asked continental colleagues to see the climate crisis as Africa’s biggest problem, suggesting more financial focus on taming its effects. Speaking on the sidelines of the Assembly in New York, the President indicated while the world should focus on rebuilding from the Covid-19 pandemic and other crises, Africa may find itself hurt more by climate change, in spite of contributing the least of its causes. “While these are important issues affecting the entire world, the greatest challenge that connects our world is Climate Change: unfortunately, due to many pressing concerns, CoP27 has not been given the prominence it deserves,” he said. Despite Africa’s small contribution to climate change, we are one of the most affected regions therefore we including James Maina need to act now to avert this looming crisis 

Source: Capital Business