Let’s fight climate change – Daily Nation


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There is little doubt that the country is already feeling the effects of climate change. Rains do not come as regularly as they used to and prolonged droughts have become the order of the day, especially in the arid and semi-arid lands (Asal).

And when it finally rains, most of the areas ravaged by drought wallow in floods, consequently hampering food production.

Under grave threat is pastoralism, which has remained virtually the same for hundreds of years.

But when crops are wiped out by floods or drought, families are robbed of livelihoods and food security undermined. The greatest killers of children — malnutrition, diarrhoea and malaria — are worsening.

The significance of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, which was marked yesterday, is obvious.

Of course, critics point out that the numerous world days dedicated to different challenges tend to dilute effort and attention.

This is not entirely true. It is crucial to promote public awareness of the global efforts to combat desertification.

It is particularly important for Kenya as the Asal occupy more than 80 per cent of its landmass.

But the region is home to 36 per cent of the population, 70 per cent of the national livestock and 90 per cent of wildlife. The inhabitants of this harsh terrain also deserve attention and a fair share of national resources.

There is also potential to boost the economy. Poverty, deforestation, overgrazing and lack of irrigation undermine productivity.

It is possible to solve the problems through community involvement and national and international co-operation.

Widespread poverty, droughts, floods, inequitable land distribution and overdependence on rain-fed agriculture increase vulnerability to climate change. These challenges must be relentlessly tackled.