Kilifi County Government has launched strategies to adopt clean cooking energy solutions in order to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change in the region.
Kilifi is among the counties mostly affected by climate change due to deforestation with 80% of the residents depending on wood fuel contributing to negative impacts on the environment, health and social wellbeing.
The county has signed a five-year MOU with Clean Cooking Association of Kenya implement the project dubbed Voices for Climate Action which aims at increasing the adoption of climate-friendly clean cooking solutions like fire briquettes contrary to the use of the now prohibited charcoal and wood.
Speaking to the media after the project launch in Kilifi town, Eric Randu, Chief officer for department of lands, housing and physical planning in Kilifi county said that each of the seven sub-counties now has a briquette-making machine that will be used in production of alternative solutions for charcoal.
Randu said that the briquette production will not only help counter climate change degradation but also create more employment opportunities to residents in Kilifi.
Wilfred Baya Director of Energy Division in Kilifi County said that secondary schools in Kilifi are the highest consumers of firewood fuel with each school using at least 900 tonnes of firewood per year.
Baya said that the high consumption of firewood has resulted to high deforestation in Kilifi county and therefore there is a tremendous need to institutionalize modern methods of clean cooking so as to combat global warming in the county.
Philomena Mtalo Accounting Officer at Clean Cooking Association of Kenya said that the project will be implemented in Kwale and Kilifi since there are high rates of dependency upon forestation and unsustainable use of biomass in the regions.
Mtalo said that local people in the community will be trained on production and use of briquettes as a way of generating income in replacement for charcoal and curb the adverse effects of climate change.
Joshua Mazera Economic advisor in the office of the governor Kilifi county said that the ravaging drought is as a result of climate change resulting from deforestation.
Mazera said that areas like Magarini and Ganze are the worst affected.
He urged organizations to draw collaborations with the county government in order to support the implementation of the clean cooking agenda.
Kilifi county governor Gideon Mung’aro warned charcoal burners to be ready to face the wrath of the law saying that they have highly contributed to the degradation of the environment hence the drought being witnessed in the county.
Mung’aro said that residents have been resolving to burning and trading of charcoal while disregarding the long-term effects of climate change.
He addressed residents of Kilifi after flagging off the collaboration of the county government and Clean Cooking Association of Kenya funded by World Wide Fund (WWF) under the project Voice for Climate Action.
According to Mung’aro, each briquette Machine stationed in each sub-county is worth one Million shillings.
He urged residents to collaborate with the county’s efforts to curb climate change otherwise the drought situation in the county will worsen.