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Building Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in Kenya

With 80% of the country located in semi-arid to arid climatic zone, many parts of Kenya are already facing serious water problems. Thus, Kenya is in the group of countries in which the effects of climate change (CC) are already a reality and are likely to be those most negatively affected by future climate change. Moreover, Kenya has a diverse range of climates, habitats and ecosystems and a high level of existing climate variability. This makes it important to determine what the localized impacts of CC are likely to be in different parts of Kenya. Hydrological models provide the tools to translate the predicted changes in temperature, rainfall and evaporation into potential impacts on stream flow, groundwater recharge and water demand.

This project seeked to build adaptive capacity of the lead agency in water resources (WRMA) and water resource user associations (WRUAs) through:

Objective 1: Improved knowledge on the impacts of CC on water resources
Main results:

  • Regional Climate Model results providing knowledge of climate change
  • An assessment of the impact of climate change on the water resources in the different parts of Kenya
  • Water resources allocation models developed in two pilot catchments to be used for impact scenario analysis for existing situation and how to adapt to future climate conditions
  • A framework for examining and adapting to climate change scenarios developed

Objective 2: Robust strategies for CC adaptation
Main results:

  • WRM Practical Climate Change Guideline document
  • A capacity building and communication programme for cross sector dissemination and improved coordination
  • Gaps and needs concerning hydrological design criteria for water resource infrastructure identified.

Objective 3: Improved adaptive capacity at the WRUA level to implement CC measures
Main results:

  • “Hands-on” program of implementation of specific activities
  • WRMA and WRUA personnel are enabled to consider Sub catchment management plan (SCMP)choices in relation to better planning information in consideration of possible climatic changes and adaptation needs
  • Two WRUAs to ”Show Case” approaches and results of SCMP implementation.
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