Story | 02 Mar, 2021

Kenya launches $34 million project to tackle effects of climate change

Kenya has launched a 5-year, USD 34 million project under the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help reduce the cost of climate change-induced drought on the country’s national economy

The project titled ‘TWENDE’ – Towards Ending Drought Emergencies , is an ecosystem based adaptation project to be implemented in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid rangelands. The project launched on 10th February 2021 is funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and implementing partners. 

Officials from the National Treasury and Environment Ministry said the TWENDE project would go towards helping 620,000 people in 11 counties of Garissa, Tana River, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Kajiado, Kitui, Makueni, Tharaka-Nithi, Meru and Taita Taveta and would aim to restore over 500,000 hectares of degraded rangelands. 

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko       Photo: photo credits Jonah Onyango Standard
Hon. Keriako Tobiko, the Minister for Environment and Forestry, said these areas account for 80% of the East African country’s land mass, and were more susceptible to the effects of climate change. “These areas and communities living in these areas are the most vulnerable and this project will help to address the needs of the most deserving of cases,” said Hon Tobiko. 



Kenya loses 2.0–2.4% of its gross domestic product annually due to effects of climate change, such as drought and floods, according to a 2018 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics study. The study also showed droughts cost Kenya 8% of GDP every five years.

Communities in Northern KenyaPhoto: IUCN
National Treasury & Planning Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Ambassador Ukur Yatani reiterated the government’s commitment to green climate finance, through the Green Climate Fund. “The Government of Kenya believes that the innovative mechanism presented by the GCF will enable the country access climate finance and facilitate the implementation of the Big Four Agenda and Vision 2030, with a climate lens, that will in turn ensure effective climate mitigation and adaptation of the economy,” said Ambassador Yatani.  


Also speaking during the high-level launch, the IUCN Regional Director for Eastern & Southern Africa, Mr. Luther Anukur, emphasized the impact of drought due to climate change, while reaffirming the IUCN’s commitment to support the government work and those of its partners. “With the continued impact of climate change, Africa is facing more frequent droughts and floods. This new project TWENDE seeks to contribute to Kenya’s improved adaptation to climate change by working with the people and stakeholders of the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya. We are extremely pleased to see this project begin and IUCN is committed to work together with various government, private sector and NGO partners for its successful implementation,” said Mr. Anukur. 

On his part, Conservation International’s Senior Vice President for Africa Field Division, Michael O’Brien-Onyeka noted: “By leveraging local knowledge, science, favourable policy and private sector engagement, people and nature can thrive in these dryland ecosystems despite a changing climate.”

In their remarks, representatives from various government sectors, private sector and NGO partners acknowledged that the frequency and intensity of drought is increasing as a result of climate change. They reiterated their commitment for joint action to strengthen adaptation and build the country’s resilience to the impact of climate change.

The TWENDE project virtual launch was also attended by Mr. Micah Powon, Principal Secretary State Department for Development of ASALs, Mr. Harry Kimutai, Principal Secretary State Department for Livestock, National Drought Management Authority CEO James Oduor among other stakeholders.

Links to media coverage from the launch:

Citizen TV:
Standard media:
Global Citizen:
Arab News:
News Trust:
The Star: