Lamu women want climate fund deal fast-tracked

Lamu Women Alliance executive director Raya Famau during an interview.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu I Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Addressing journalists at their Lamu Old Town office, they stressed the need for the proposed loss and damage fund for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters to be fast-tracked.
  • Lawa executive director Raya Famau was among the participants in the recently concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

The Lamu Women Alliance (Lawa) has called for speedy implementation of the recently reached COP27 breakthrough agreement on loss and damage fund for vulnerable countries.

Addressing journalists at their Lamu Old Town office, they stressed the need for the proposed loss and damage fund for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters to be fast-tracked.

Lawa executive director Raya Famau said fast-tracking the release of the funds will enable vulnerable countries to fight and curb further damage due to climate change. She was among the participants in the recently concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Further citing a recently reached agreement between the United Kingdom (UK) and Kenya in which Sh500 billion will be invested in projects to support Kenya’s leadership on climate change, Ms Famau called on President William Ruto to ensure such funds meet the intended purpose.

She said their happiness is to see the government implement green energy projects for clean growth, and pleaded with it to prioritise Lamu on matters of climate change advocacy by ensuring more funds are channelled to the region.

Lamu has been a hub for myriad development projects that have been at variance with climate justice. The situation is attributed to loopholes that need to be addressed to tackle climate change.

“We’re calling for the COP27 agreement on funding for loss and damage to be speedily effected. Kenya as a country needs such funding since citizens here, particularly women, are adversely affected by climate change. In a place like Lamu, there’s water and food scarcity due to the destruction of water sources and the depletion of available food that has led to increased cost of living,” said Ms Famau.

Lives and livelihoods

Hindu Salim, a Lewa board member, said she believes the release of the fund to vulnerable countries will help address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined.

“Climate change has destroyed fishing grounds, resulting in our men having no job to sustain their families. This has seen women take the roles of men by providing for their families. Men are frustrated and this has subsequently resulted in increased gender-based violence,” said Ms Salim. 

“We fully support the creation of a specific fund for loss and damage as this will assist developing countries like Kenya to respond to loss and damage. As Lamu women, we’re looking forward to receiving such funds to elevate the war on climate change.”

Lamu’s environmental safeguards officer Gabriel Ngige appealed to the county and national governments to fully involve women in climate change matters, adding that they are the worst hit.

“I recognise the efforts by Lawa in fighting climate change. These women have organised radio talk shows in partnership with different experts on various fields of climate justice and this has enabled the community to be knowledgeable about climate change-related issues,” he said.

“The local and national government should promote women’s full and equal representation and participation in leadership and climate change decision-making processes and spaces. I, therefore, urge leaders to lobby for the formulation and implementation of a viable, effective policy on climate change and promote and fund local climate solutions by women that build resilience to climate change.”

Tackling global warming

Voice for Climate Action project officer Josinta Omuyoma pleaded with the government to take stern action in the regulation of hotspots and vulnerable areas prone to climate distortion. She also stressed the need for countries to reaffirm their commitment to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“We hope countries will adhere to the commitment by ensuring they cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change, as well as boost the support of finance, technology, and capacity building needed by developing countries like Kenya,” said Ms Omuyoma.

Lawa, through funding by Akina Mama wa Africa organisation under the auspices of the Voices for Climate Action, has been undertaking numerous programmes to advocate women’s active participation in climate action efforts.

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