UK-Kenya partnership is delivering energy planning and nature-based solutions to climate change in Makueni County

Judy Ndunge Kenya April 25, 2024

The collaborative effort between the United Kingdom and Kenya is currently implementing sustainable
energy strategies and nature-based solutions to address climate change in Makueni County.

Recently, the UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (UK PACT) team, embarked on a 2-day visit to the county. Makueni County officials for Energy & Environment, joined the team as they visited Makueni County Referral Hospital and saw the installation of solar panels that will enable the county’s reliance on solar power, a result of their joint support.

The two teams inspecting the installation of solar panels at Makueni County Referral Hospital, a project that was as a result of their joint efforts.

The installation is expected result in solar capacity of 200 kilowatts peak load, which is estimated to save power costs for the hospital by KES 7 million annually.

“We are pleased to host UK PACT in Makueni County. The visit demonstrates our commitment to renewable energy and exploring nature-based solutions to support ecosystem restoration. Our County is endowed with natural resources, and we have fully integrated green energy in our County Energy Plan. Our partnership is geared to put in place a state-of-the-art County Energy Center in Kisingo to serve the County and the Country at large, “said Mutula Kilonzo Junior, the Governor of Makueni County.

“Our partnership is geared to put in place a state-of-the-art County Energy Center in Kisingo to serve the
County and the Country at large” Mutula Kilonzo the Governor of Makueni County.

In regards to the Energy Act 2019, its mandated that the County Governments have to develop their own County Energy Plans (CEPs). Through the partnership, the UK is working with Strathmore Energy Research Centre-SERC and World Resources Institute-WRI to provide Technical Assistance to Makueni County Government in the development of its first CEP.

“I applaud the Government of Makueni County for establishing an Energy Department to enable the energy sector to be mainstreamed across all the other departments within the county. And also, for their active participation in sensitization workshops that have led to the successful completion of the County Energy Plans, “commented Daniel Wilcox, the Economic Counsellor at the British High Commission.

UK is also working with the World Agroforestry (ICRAF) to deliver nature-based solution outcomes by addressing policy, institutional and monitoring gaps in forest and landscape restoration. The two teams also visited farmers who are Trainers-of-Trainers (ToTs) on forest and land restoration and saw the interventions being implemented to contribute to the improvement of farmers’ livelihoods.

Through the project led by ICRAF on exploring Nature-based solutions to adaptation, ToTs have been implementing water conservation efforts such as water channeling to farm ponds and the use of shade nets for minimizing water loss through evaporation. They also met tree nursery workers who are supporting communities to grow trees. The project has also proved success as the lead farmers have been able to cascade the training to 775 other farmers in the County, ensuring equitable gender participation and benefits. More than 1000 beneficiaries have been trained on forest and land restoration so far.

“Conservation efforts have the potential to be an engine to economic growth. We value our partnership with Kenya, and we are committed to tackling joint environmental and climate change issues for the sake of future generations. This is why we are working with counties like Makueni towards the realization of green energy and land and ecosystem restoration. We are committed to strengthen the community’s capacity to respond to climate change and support the productive use of energy through useful energy plans.

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