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NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - A total of more than 11,000 disasters over the last 50 years have been attributed to weather, climate and water-related hazards, causing two million deaths and US$ 3.6 trillion in economic losses. According to the new UN report, while the average number of deaths recorded for each disaster has fallen by a third during this period, the number of recorded disasters has increased five times and the economic losses have increased by a factor of seven, according to a new multi-agency report. The State of Climate Services 2020 Report: Move from Early Warnings to Early Action report released yesterday says extreme weather and climate events have increased in frequency, intensity and severity as result of climate change and hit vulnerable communities disproportionately hard. Yet one in three people are still not adequately covered by early warning systems, according to the report released yesterday on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. According to the report, in 2018, globally, around 108 million people required help from the international humanitarian system as a result of storms, floods, droughts and wildfires. By 2030, it is estimated that this number could increase by almost 50 per cent at a cost of around US$ 20 billion a year. The report, produced by 16 international agencies and financing institutions, identifies where and how governments can invest in effective early warning systems that strengthen countries’ resilience to multiple weather, climate and water-related hazards and provides successful examples. It stresses the need to switch to impact-based forecasting – an evolution from “what the weather will be” to “what the weather will do” so that people and businesses can act early based on the warnings. The report contains 16 different case studies on successful early warning systems for hazards including tropical cyclones and hurricanes, floods, droughts, heatwaves, forest fires, sand and dust storms, desert locusts, severe winters and glacial lake outbursts. “Early warning systems (EWS) constitute a prerequisite for effective disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Being prepared and able to react at the right time, in the right place, can save many lives and protect the livelihoods of communities everywhere,” said Prof Petteri Taalas, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General. He said while Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) generated a large international health and economic crisis from which it will take years to recover, it is crucial to remember that climate change will continue to pose an on-going and increasing threat to human lives, ecosystems, economies and societies for centuries to come. “Recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity to move forward along a more sustainable path towards resilience and adaptation in the light of anthropogenic climate change,” said Taalas. The report provides a basis for understanding how to strengthen protection for the most vulnerable, including through mechanisms such as the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative, which together with France Development Agency, provided funding for the report. “Covid-19 has made risk everybody’s business. We need to carry this understanding and momentum…
LAMU, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Lamu residents in Kenya's coastal region through their Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to pull up their socks in the conservation of the currently degrading environments of the Island. Speaking during a three-day workshop organised by the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA) through the Kenya Platform for Climate Governance (KPCG)on proper land use planning for community climate resilience, Ishaq Abubakar of Save Lamu, accused NEMA of being directly linked to all the environmental problems; including destruction of the ocean and sea life, hunger and increased poverty, unprecedented destruction of mangroves amongst other challenges currently experienced in the Island. In responding to the accusation, Joshua KahindiYeri of NEMAin Lamu County admitted to a few of the challenges but asked for continued collaboration and partnership, especially during environmental impact assessments to ensure the wrongs are over-written. “Ndio, hatukataimakosamoja au mbili yalitokea, lakini kwa sasatunawahitajituungemikonopamojamanakemkonomojahalivunjichawa. (We agree that one or two mistakes have happened during our watch, it is not true that all environmental problems in Lamu have been caused by NEMA. Let’s unite and forge ahead),” stated MrKahindi.He further explained that given functions, including air quality, waste management that NEMA was responsible for, had since moved to the county government Department of Public Health and Environment. “While we are a coordinating body, we implement the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA), which is very keen on integration of land uses for community climate resilience,” Kahindiadded, as he explained the process of environmental impact assessment as a tool and process for deciding land use plans and climate resilience. In attendance at the three day workshop were key county departments likePublic Health and Environment, the Department of Agriculture, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Lamu Water and Sewerage Company, the Fisheries Department and several other key departments of the county and CSO actors relevant to land use planning and climate resilience. Matthias Muavita of KWS said: "KWS is very keen on promoting resilience at the community level through the implementation of the Wildlife Conservation Act." The workshop, held at SunSail Hotel, aimed at capacity building the community on the nexus between land use planning and climate change,providing a platform for the community to dialogue with the respective county officials and identifying potential action points; based on the county spatial plan for action for enhanced community resilience in the county. The LAPSSET project and its seven components, the coal power plant, the Blue Economy were among those identified by the CSOs as the potential projects that will likely disrupt their land use plans and cumulatively lead to adverse impacts of climate change if not relooked by the authorities involved. The KPCG, Lamu Chapter also signed anMoU with the localSifa FMchampion spread of information on the nexus between land use planning and climate change and ensure increased advocacy for the good of the local ecosystem. KPCG lead Meryne Warah said: "The future and…
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Hundreds of farmers in Tranzoia County have switched from common fertilisers that have for decades been promoted by the government to blended non-acidifying fertilisers, and as a result, the county government says that annual maize yield has increased by one million 90 kilogram bags per season, for the past three seasons. According to Dr Stanley Kenei Tarus, the Deputy Governor for Tranzoia County, farmers were already counting losses due to the declining soil fertility across the county.His sentiments were echoed by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, who said that in the past 12 years, the government has been supplying farmers with the same type of fertilizers, thereby helping farmers poison the soils. So far, according to Munya, 19 million acres of land especially in Nyanza region, Western parts of the country and within the Rift Valley are already acidic. “We must change the way we do things if we have to improve food productivity,” said the CS during the launch of an electronic voucher system which will be used to deliver subsidised farm inputs to smallholder farmers.According to Tarus, the switch from straight fertilizers to blended ones was a long journey that involved scientific surveys. “We first started with soil testing in 2013 to find out why yields were declining,” said Dr Tarus. “As a result, we found that apart from the changing climatic conditions, all our soils across the county were already acidic because farmers continually applied straight fertilisers just to provide two nutrients - nitrogen and phosphorous,” he said.It was then that the county officials begun encouraging farmers to conduct soil testing, and use appropriate blended fertilisers which have more nutrients than the normal CAN, DAP and Urea. As a result, reports the Deputy Governor, yields across the county have improved by one million bags. “This good news to us because farmers now have more food and they can make more money from the same pieces of land,” he said. Philemon Olembo a smallholder farmer from Mawe-tatu village in the heart of Tranzoia County is one of the farmers who have embraced the use of blended non-acidifying fertilisers.“In the past two seasons that I have used blended fertilisers, yield from my two and a half acres of land has increased by eight bags,” said Olembo, noting that the increment is more than enough to sustain his family of three children for a whole year. “I do not know much about fertiliser contents, but I learned about the non-acidifying fertilisers from a local radio program and I decided to try it out,” said Olembo.A 2019 report by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) show that cultivation with acidifying fertiliser applications (or without any inputs) leads to a decline of pH of one unit in 5 to 10 years.Apart from soils becoming acidic due to constant use of some farm inputs, experts say that plants need more than 10 key nutrients for proper growth, and they will always extract such nutrients…
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