A lobby group under the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), has today demanded action against loss and damage due to climate change impacts.
The Coalesced group noted that the state should compensate for the losses pastoralists and smallholder farmers in the country suffer due to the ongoing drought which has been described by locals as the “worst in 40 years”.
“It unimaginable that communities can lose livelihoods due to the climate crisis and yet, governments are so incapacitated to intervene,” said Mithika Mwenda, the executive director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.
Resident from Ntumbiri location, Buuri sub-county in Meru County Titus Murithi from Ntumbiri location, said he grew up seeing his parents’ plant maize as rainfall never missed the month of March.
“However, in my adult life, I can no longer predict rainfall. Over the last two decades, rainfall has reduced in frequency; duration and amount to enable residents to practice maize farming. This has forced me and my village mates to shift to onion farming as an alternative. The onion farming is done on a small-scale basis due to scarcity of water,” said Murithi.
Further, they indicated that the disastrous climate situation being witnessed is the result of centuries of unsustainable exploitation of resources, particularly by the global north with little regard to emission control.
“The results have included floods and droughts. In September of 2021, the Kenya government declared drought a national disaster when close to 3.5 million people became victims of extreme weather,” Mwenda said.
A loss and damage survivor Everlyn Ajuang noted that over the same year, about 100 people died, and floods displaced 200,000.
“We are now at a point where we die either because of the rains or because of lack of it. “I am an old woman, and I have lost my home. Where do I go? We are calling for climate reparations now! Not as charity, but as a transformative justice process” the youth want the UNFCCC negotiations to ensure that financing of loss damages. This should not be in the form of loans,” she said.
According to Busia county climate activist Risper Asembo, “Money will be useless on a dead earth. It is time for us to stop relying on fossil fuels. Let the polluters cover our losses and damages, and assist us in moving toward renewable energy right away.