Climate Change Situation in Kenya and Measures Towards Adaptive Management in the Water Sector

Climate Change Situation in Kenya and Measures Towards Adaptive Management in the Water Sector

Joan Mwihaki Nyika (Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya)
DOI: 10.4018/IJESGT.2020070103
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Climate change is a growing challenge to socio-economic development and sustainable environmental management worldwide. Developing countries with low adaptive capacity and high vulnerability to the phenomena are affected severely. This study assessed the climate change situation in a developing country, its effects on the water sector and adaptive responses to improve climate change resilience using Kenya as a case study. Findings showed that Kenya is experiencing temperature and rainfall rises currently, and future projections showed an even worse situation. Climate variability and change however differed based on time and space. Highlighted effects on the water sector included fluctuations in its quantities and deterioration of its quality. Adaptive responses such as infrastructural modifications of water body environments, forecasting using models to predict climate change uncertainties and disseminating early warnings are discussed. Their success relies on strong policy and institutions to steer their implementation in Kenya.
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Current And Future State Of Climate Change In Kenya

Kenya’s climate is complex and variable and according to the Global Adaptation Initiative (GAIN), it is ranked at 151 out of 181 countries for climate vulnerability (Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), 2018). A number of factors including the topography of the country and global climatic processes such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) control rainfall (Daron, 2014) and trigger this vulnerability. In the prevalence of ENSO climate processes, rainfall amounts increase while during IOD, temperatures rise. Despite this vulnerability, the country is ranked as the 37th least prepared to cope with climate change crisis (MFA, 2018). Preparedness problems are exacerbated by the existent arid and semi-arid conditions where 80% of the country receives temporally and spatially variable rainfall below 700 mm annually. Some temperate regions near the rift valley and Lake Victoria receive rainfall ranging between 1200 and 2000 mm annually though it is generally dry in the country (MFA, 2018).

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