UK’s Marriott calls for climate action to tackle drought in Kenya

UK’s Marriott calls for climate action to tackle drought in Kenya

The British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott has called for climate action to tackle the drought in Kenya during a visit to Isiolo. 

The High Commissioner, along with County Governor Mohammed Kuti and County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding, witnessed firsthand how the Isiolo River had dried up, losing a key water source for those who rely on it. 

The drought this year is a stark manifestation of climate change, putting more than 2.1 million people on the verge of hunger due to food insecurity.

Since February, over a million more people have been affected by the drought, which has been exacerbated by failed rainy seasons.

The visit comes just weeks before the United Nations’ global climate talks, COP26, which will be hosted by the United Kingdom.

Speaking after visiting Shambani, a village affected by drought, Marriott said:

“The human cost of this drought will be fatal. We welcome the Government’s declaration of a national disaster but as droughts become more frequent due to climate change, more must be done to protect food security in Kenya.

“That’s why I’m here today ahead of the global climate change talks in the UK in six weeks’ time, to get a fair climate deal which stops events like droughts threatening our collective future”.

Following a briefing with the National Disaster Management Agency, the High Commissioner met with women and people in the area surrounding a critical borehole. 

The only borehole for miles, the impacts of the drought were obvious, affecting not just people but also livestock.

In reaction to the drought, President Kenyatta declared a national disaster last week in order to defend food security, which is a Big Four target.

As the world warms, regions such as central Kenya are more likely to become Malaria hotspots, and rates in other parts of the country will rise, turning the climate emergency into a health disaster.

The UK has collaborated with the County administration in Isiolo, a county at the cusp of climate change and facing flooding, to design a strategy to grow in a way that protects homes, businesses, and airports from the effects of climate change.

Kenya, while bearing little responsibility for climate change, is one of the most vulnerable countries.

The United Kingdom is pushing for a fair climate deal and global action to protect Kenya from future shocks.

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