President Uhuru opens IGAD climate centre in Kajiado
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday opened the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) in Kajiado county.
ICPAC is a designated regional climate centre by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to provide climate services and early warnings to 11 East African countries.
“We live in uncertain times, increasing temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa.
Africa, while currently responsible for a negligible amount of total global greenhouse gas emissions, is under significant threat from climate change,” said Uhuru.
Services provided by the centre are aimed at creating resilience in a region deeply affected by climate change and extreme weather patterns.
Low carbon transportation
In a recorded address, Uhuru said Kenya’s ambition is to become a continental leader in sustainable development by scaling up usage of low carbon transportation systems and practising smart agriculture.
“The country has made huge progress in green energy utilisation and is on course to supporting other Horn of Africa nations to develop their renewable energy capacities,” he added.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said Kenya’s key economic drivers were vulnerable to climate change and thanked ICPAC for the important role it is playing in supporting vulnerable communities to adapt to the phenomenon.
“In times of climate extremes and increased intensity and frequency of hazards, it is key to provide quality climate services and early warnings. Climate doesn’t stop at borders and having strong intergovernmental institutions able to provide early warnings is key,” said ICPAC’s Director Dr Guleid Artan.
Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo, Environment CAS Mohamed Elmi and IGAD Executive Secretary Dr Workneh Gebeyehu were among several senior government officials who graced the launch.