Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A Cabinet minister Monday said pastoral communities should be compensated for the sound care they have been providing to the environment.
Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands minister Mohamed Elmi noted that pastoral communities had for a long time protected wildlife, forests and grasslands.
And with the challenges arising from climate change, he said they should be empowered to influence policies and implementation at national level.

Mr Elmi was speaking during the launch of a paper on climate change prepared by Oxfam International. The paper, “Survival of the Fittest: Pastoralism and Climate Change in East Africa”, addresses the impact of climate change in the region on pastoral livelihoods. The minister asked governments of East Africa to act on recommendations if pastoralism is to adapt and survive global climate change.

“Climate change is not an abstract, scientific phenomenon. We must never forget that it has real human costs and consequences. I remember very clearly the heavy El Nino rains in 1998. Northern Kenya, including my own constituency, Wajir, was cut off from the rest of Kenya when the roads were washed away.
“Markets collapsed, food and supplies ran out, and there was a major outbreak of malaria. The impact of the floods was made worse by the drought which preceded them.”