Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Clean Energy Business Information Centre (CEBIC) Visit 24TH -26TH JULY, 2017, Lesidai, Samburu County

Photo on superstructure walling and steel fixing to columns ongoing during site inspection

Access to  timely  and  up-to  date  information  like  market  information  especially  in marginalized  areas  is  a  critical  element  for  spurring  economic  development  given  the dynamism  of  some  sectors  like  agriculture  that these  communities  heavily  depend  on. Under  the  second  Medium  Term  Plan (MTP  II)  of  Vision  2030,  the  Government  of  Kenya prioritizes on inclusive economic growth and job creation through supporting the creation of Small and  Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that can play a key role in improving livelihoods. Access to climate  change  information  in  relation  to  adaptation  and  mitigation,  is  one  innovative approach of enhancing resilience for vulnerable production systems and households - since it helps communities to prepare in case of unforeseen negative eventualities. It  is  against  this  background  that  the  Low  Emission  and  Climate  Resilient  Development (LECRD) Project is facilitating the establishment of a Community Education Business and Information Centre (CEBIC) in Lesidai, Samburu County. The Centre which is currently under construction is expected to offer multiple services including; a meeting facility, cultural centre for displaying of indigenous technologies, a library, shop that will sell various products including household renewable energy technologies and agro-vet products, and Information Communication Technology (ICT)  facility. The Centre will serve the community around Loosuk which is one of the 5 wards in Samburu West Sub-county with a geographical coverage of 690.8 Km2, a total population of approximately 20,000 persons-while the whole Sub-county has a total population of 92,676.
A site inspection visit and community meeting was held on the 24th and 25th of July. Participating in the visit were officers from the LECRD project and USAID which was represented by Mr. Enock Kanyanya. Construction works were found to be progressing well, as the substructure works were complete and the superstructure walling and steel fixing to columns ongoing. It is expected that the Centre construction and equipping will be complete by November, 2017. During the community meeting, it was affirmed that the centre will offer great benefits to the community whose main livelihood is pastrolism and is often greatly affected by climate change. The Community members expressed that their expectation was that the Centre will be used for community empowerment through poverty eradication and peace dialogues for both the Samburu and the neighbouring Pokot community. It was further proposed that the Centre be managed by the County, in this regard it was proposed that the Village Administrator be domiciled at the Centre and offer County services from this facility. During previous meetings with county officials it had been proposed that the county provide a budgetary allocation for the operation of the centre. It is expected that a stakeholder validation meeting will be held in the month of September to validate the CEBIC operational model that has been developed by the LECRD Project through Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN).


Photo: Inaugural Climate Change Fund Taskforce Workshop at KEFRI –Muguga 18th-20th July 2017 

Kenya’s Climate Change Act was enacted in May 2016. The Act provides for a regulatory framework for enhanced response to climate change and the mechanisms and measures to achieve low carbon climate development. The Act stipulates that a Climate Change Fund shall be established which shall be a financing mechanism for priority climate actions and interventions defined in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), approved by the Government. In order to operationalize the fund, a task force with fourteen (14) members awaiting gazettement has been established. The task force will be charged with the development of the structure; regulations; resource mobilization strategy; and Monitoring, Reporting and Verification tools of the Climate Change Fund. Through the Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) Project, an inaugural workshop was held at KEFRI –Muguga from the 18th-20th July 2017. The workshop was attended by all the appointed task force members drawn from the National Treasury; Office of the Attorney General; Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA); the Climate Change Directorate (CCD) and Council of Governors. There was also representation from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and LECRD Project staff. The workshop aimed at developing a common understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the taskforce members including the necessary supporting policy and legal frameworks; consensus building of the vision and modalities of the fund; developing a work plan and budget of the taskforce and preparing and finalizing the Terms of Reference (TORs) for local and international consultancies to work closely with the taskforce to support the design and operationalization of Kenya’s Climate Change Fund. By the end of the workshop, the team had understood the policy and legal frameworks that gives them operational mandate; developed TORs for the taskforce and consultancies. In addition, formulation of the work plan for the task force was successfully completed. As a way forward, the task force agreed to: (i) Engage representatives from civil society and the private sector into the taskforce, followed up by the taskforce gazettement (ii) Procure a consortium rather than individual consultants (iii) Advertise the TORs of the consortium, to initiate procuring process of the consortium by UNDP. A fully operationalized Climate Change Fund will provide Kenya the opportunity to transform the economy, to identify near term low carbon opportunities and draw from NDCs submitted to UNFCCC as well as the long term goal of the Paris Agreement that requires retaining the mean temperature of earth to well below 2˚ C.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Policy Brief Development to Accelerate Pico Solar Market in Kenya

In support of Kenya’s goal  to move towards a low carbon and climate resilient development pathway as prescribed under the National Climate Change action Plan- NCCAP (2013-2017), the LECRD project engaged Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) to undertake a technical and socio economic baseline survey of solar lighting kits in Kenya. 

The survey was conducted in six counties namely; Migori, Bungoma, Kirinyaga, Embu, Kitui and Samburu. During a stakeholder engagement to review the findings of the survey, it emerged that a policy brief should be developed towards accelerating the Pico solar market in Kenya. Pico solar is defined as the smallest often portable photo voltaic systems that mostly consist of a rechargeable battery and charge controller with a very small solar Photo Voltaic (PV) panel.

In this regard the LECRD project and the KIRDI team through the engagement of a consultant held a three day stakeholder workshop at Merica Hotel in Nakuru from the 27th June 2 to the 1st of July 2016. The objective of the workshop was to map stakeholders in the Pico solar market, identify gaps, challenges and opportunities and come up with policy recommendations to stimulate the Pico solar market development in Kenya.     

The workshop brought together institutions like the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenyatta University Department of Technology, University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University Institute of Environment and Energy Technology (IEET), KIRDI, Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA), IFC Lighting Africa, Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG), Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KEBS) and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM). These representatives under the stewardship of the consultant   worked in thematic groups working to uncover issues touching on; Manufacturing, standards and labels, Consumer policy awareness, Fiscal marketing and public private partnerships, waste, environment and climate change.

 The engagement was successful with recommendations emerging touching on enhancing consumer awareness through tools such as mobile applications for ease of information access by consumers, encouraging local manufacturing, public financing to promote renewable energy initiatives, developing incubation centres and enhancing the academia-industry initiatives and technical training colleges for Pico solar. The draft policy brief with comments incorporated from various stakeholders will be subjected to a wider group of experts before circulation to policy makers with the aim of accelerating the Pico solar market in Kenya geared towards local manufacture to create jobs and advance renewable energy solutions in the country

World Climate Simulation

Ellie Johnson, from Climate Interactive (USA) giving an opening presentation during World Climate Simulation event hosted at National Climate Change Resource Center (NCCRC).

World Climate is an interactive, role playing UN climate negotiation game that uses computer simulation to rapidly analyze the result of mock negotiations. World climate simulation was developed by Climate Interactive and
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help people build awareness on the critical climate change challenge and experience some of the dynamics that emerge in the UN climate negotiations. 
The LECRD project in partnership with Climate Interactive hosted a world climate simulation event at the National Climate Change Resource Centre (NCCRC) on 24th May 2016 bringing together 36 participants drawn from the media, youth representatives, Climate Change Directorate, Kenya Meteorological Department and LECRD project staff.. 
The objective of the event was to have participants appreciate differences in resources that countries have and their contribution to the global climate fund. Understanding this could discover how such decisions impact on the global climate system in real time and set the agenda for countries commitment towards reducing global temperature rise and emissions reduction.
The session was highly interactive and thought provoking with delegates representing various blocs of countries namely; Developed Nations, Developing Nations, China and India. This was done to mimic the real negotiations process.  and also because These nations hold valuable positions in reducing global climate temperatures to lower than 2 degrees Celsius.
The “delegates” actively participated and got a deeper understanding of the UNFCCC negotiations and the need for urgent global national and individual actions to address climate change and its impacts. The greatest lesson learnt was no country can act in isolation despite its position in the developing and developed world or the resources possessed. All countries must work together to reduce emissions and lower the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius. This was demonstrated using the simulation tool where despite initial negotiations collective decision making did not reduce global temperatures to below 2 degrees. This elicited the need for a fresh round of negotiations and concessions which improved the scenario of the global temperatures.The need for collective responsibility to achieve this target cannot be understated. 
These negotiations can have direct bearing on Kenya’s climate policy direction like the; Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs aiming to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030. This will move Kenya  on a low carbon and climate resilient development pathway and the Paris agreement which expects  all countries to undertake adaptation planning and action and communicate this to the global community though the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Climate Interactive group also conducted a training session for participants at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS). Future simulation events are planned at the NCCRC for various stakeholder groups. Further, the simulation tools will be embedded in a curriculum that is being developed to mainstream climate change in county policy planning and budgetary processes.
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Farmer Registration and Set Up Of Automatic Weather Stations

The Low Emission and Climate Resilient development (LECRD) Project in partnership with the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) is supporting the State Department of Agriculture (SDA) in implementing the Kenya Agriculture Insurance and Risk Management, KAIRM Programme in Rongai, Nakuru County. This relates to project 6 outcome of minimizing the impacts of extreme climate events for improved and resilient livelihoods by providing Area Yield Index Insurance (AYII) to small scale farmers in conjunction with Insurance companies.

The project team conducted a site survey to monitor the season progress of maize crop and complete the farmer registration process in Rongai Sub County before the start of crop cutting exercise to be done by the Kenya National Bureau of statistics (KNBS) to projected yield estimation. This estimation is crucial in determining pay outs to be made to insured farmers.
The farmer registration exercise was conducted through an online portal This entailed training enumerators and Rongai sub County Assistant Chiefs on the data to be captured. The chiefs were identified as important resource persons because of their closeness to the community and their mobility given they possess motorcycles to ease traveling in the sub county.
This resulted in an increased farmer registration of up to 65%.  The team documented the seasonal maize progress and digitized the farmer register through the recruitment gender balanced data entry officers. This enhanced team work and engagement with of all the relevant stakeholders.
LECRD, SDA and Rongai Sub county teams meeting farmers to assess the season’s progress at Kipseynan Primary School, Solai Ward                                                              
The Nakuru county government has committed itself to continuously support the expansion of the programme to one more sub county within Nakuru County based on the positive feedback received from the farmers. There will be continuous monitoring of the registered farmers to evaluate the uptake of insurance from farmers in different wards.
The uptake of the crop insurance by farmers relies on access to timely climate information. This information is relevant and complements weather based index agricultural insurance as a key strategy for climate change adaptation and improved community resilience to the vagaries of climate change. 
The LECRD project is collaborating with KMD to avail this information to farmers by installing 20 Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs). An AWS is an automated weather station enabling measurements be made from remote areas. . This is a major shift from the traditional and manual observations of weather elements. The AWS employs the use of electronic sensors connected to a data logger which facilitates automatic data processing. Another advantage of AWSs is the acquisition of a continuous set of sub daily data values providing information on highly variable climatological parameters. These systems have been established globally and their timely nature in delivering climate information is beneficial to many farmers vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change.  These Automatic Weather Stations will be spread across five counties namely; Bungoma, Homabay, Nakuru, Narok and Embu. A AWS site installation survey was carried out to determine suitability of the sites and recommendations made on appropriate sites for the installation. The recommendations would also serve as reference for KMD future AWS installation.

The LECRD Project has supported the procurement of twenty (20) Automatic Weather Stations, AWSs set to be installed in five (5) Counties namely; Bungoma, Nakuru, Homabay, Embu and Narok.

Disaster Reporting Portal Stakeholder Review Workshop

Stakeholder workshop on the disaster reporting portal and the media monitoring report by Media Council of Kenya (MCK) held at Laico Regency hotel Nairobi on 10th June, 2016 .

The Disaster Reporting Portal is an initiative of the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR) in collaboration with USAID, UNDP, the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and the LECRD project covering Outcome 5 and 6 of the LECRD project on knowledge management and information sharing as well as minimizing impacts of extreme climate events for improved and resilient livelihoods. The MCK identified four main aspects of media functions in terms of information dissemination, disaster planning and training, collaborative decision making and problem solving and information gathering as the basis of developing the portal. As such these cascade down to crisis management phases of preparedness, response and recovery eliciting the need to use the media to enhance communication on disasters.

The objective of the portal is to reach out to Kenyans to inform and educate them on the various climate related disasters affecting the country, the disaster prone areas, the current status of the nation in relation to natural disasters that Kenya faces, highlight the mitigation measures that can be undertaken and how to adapt to perennial disasters. The portal will capture and disseminate climate change and other related disaster information and is expected to improve reporting amongst media practitioners on climate change.

The LECRD project held a multi-stakeholder review workshop on 10th June 2016 at Laico Regency hotel in Nairobi to present the portal to a wider range of stakeholders including the media fraternity, the UNDP Disaster Risk Reduction Unit, National Disaster Operations Centre, Subject Matter Specialists, the Climate Change Directorate, Kenya Metrological Department and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources officials. The Portal was developed with the guidance of a consultant engaged though the MCK in collaboration with the LECRD team.

The portal has two main components that is; the Disaster Reporting Portal and the Learning Centre. The reporting portal focuses on educating the public on the major climate related disasters affecting Kenya while giving real time updates of weather information and disaster prone areas. It contains emergency contacts of disaster response centres at both national and county level. It incorporates blogs and a media centre which allows for the public to participate and post articles. The learning centre contains modules for accredited journalists to undertake online training on disaster management so at to be engaged in responsible and responsive reporting on these issues. It is a step by step module with a moderator where upon completion of the course a certificate is awarded.

There will be continuous enrichment of the portal to provide up to date and relevant information as well as have live audio-visual feeds for real time impact. The portal will be linked to other disaster response agencies for enhanced coordination and effectiveness in response to disasters. The portal can be accessed via the link.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Climate Finance Capacity Building Workshops

The LECRD project in conjunction with the UNDP-DFID funded UN Joint Programme on Climate Change supported Climate Public Expenditure and Budget Review (CPEBR) capacity building workshops across different Counties. This is in line with the LECRD’s key result area 2 on strengthening national climate change coordination processes through establishing mechanisms to track climate finance flows.The LECRD project in conjunction with the UNDP-DFID funded UN Joint Programme on Climate Change supported Climate Public Expenditure and Budget Review (CPEBR) capacity building workshops across different Counties. This is in line with the LECRD’s key result area 2 on strengthening national climate change coordination processes through establishing mechanisms to track climate finance flows.The LECRD project in conjunction with the UNDP-DFID funded UN Joint Programme on Climate Change supported Climate Public Expenditure and Budget Review (CPEBR) capacity building workshops across different Counties. This is in line with the LECRD’s key result area 2 on strengthening national climate change coordination processes through establishing mechanisms to track climate finance flows.

The LECRD Project held capacity building workshops from the 13th to 29th April 2016 targeting accountants, economists, finance and environmental officers from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as County official in planning, environment and finance sectors. County representation was drawn from all 47 Counties segregated in to 6 key Cluster regions covering Mount Kenya, Central Rift, North Rift, Western region and the Coastal region. They were held in Nanyuki, Naivasha, Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa towns respectively per region. One meeting was held in Naivasha for the MDAs. This exercise was ably guided by a team from the National Treasury in collaboration with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. The excise was conducted through presentations, relevant examples and sharing of experiences from the participants. There was also a questionnaire administered to access the participants understanding on key climate finance issues. Participants were sensitized on the draft climate finance policy and tracking climate finance through coding under the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) for both national and county planning and budgetary process. This process would lead to implementation of the National Policy on Climate Finance and Green Climate Fund. In addition, the identification and tracking of climate finance related flows and expenditure in to the national budgetary system through IFMIS will enable Kenya to account for climate related expenditure at the National and County level.

There was positive feedback with participants decreeing that they had understood issues touching on climate finance, climate coding and how to identify and track climate relevant expenditure across different sectors. They also understood the incorporation of mitigation and adaptation expenditures in the IFMIS system through component 8. They further expressed that they had realized the opportunities open to them to access climate change funds through the Green Climate Fund for their climate related activities which have previous been under budgeted for.