NAIROBI, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The current flooding in Kenya is likely to compromise food security in the country, a government official said on Tuesday.
Keriako Tobiko, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, attributed the flooding to climate change as a result of land degradation emanating from deforestation and poor land use practices.
"People in most parts of the country are currently counting losses following the heavy rainfall that has been pounding the country in the past one month," Tobiko said during the launch of an integrated approach program-food security in Nairobi.
Tobiko observed that the challenges to water security will likely grow as climate change results in increasingly unpredictable weather events such as flooding that are now being experienced around the country.
"There is need to enhance and promote sustainable management and resilience of ecosystems and their different services for land, water, biodiversity, and forests as a means to address food insecurity and at the same time safeguard the long term potential of critical food systems in response to human changing needs," he said.
He warned that the ravages of climate change across many parts of the country could get worse as it is likely to usher in conflicts over pasture and water, human-wildlife conflicts, disruption of learning in schools and forest fires.
Tobiko noted that program targets agro-ecological systems that will enhance food security as well as create direct opportunities to generate local and global environmental benefits to communities.
He said Kenya continues to face environmental threats and challenges that must be tackled in order to realize the desired socio-economic benefits and regional and global integration in environmental management.
"These environmental challenges threaten the realization of sustainable development in the region at large," he said.
The CS announced that Kenya has received 18.9 million U.S. dollars from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to support the establishment of the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund, a project that will be implemented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Nature Conservancy.
Tobiko noted that the project represents one of the 12 countries' projects under the joint Integrated Approach Pilot-Food Security on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He said the fund was established as a multi-stakeholders' initiative to secure the sources of water for Nairobi city and Masinga hydropower system in Eastern Kenya and increase investment flows for sustainable land management and integrated natural resource management in the Upper Tana catchment.
"The water fund model integrates a governance structure and financing mechanisms for and by the stakeholders for accountable, transparent and sustainable funding," he observed.
The Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund will particularly contribute to rehabilitation and protection of water towers, strengthen environmental governance, water resources management and implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan.