Kitui County has enacted a law that sets aside one per cent of its annual budget towards climate change adaptation.
The County Climate Change Fund Regulations will help Kitui put climate change at the centre of its development planning and help vulnerable communities adapt to adverse weather patterns.
The county's budget this financial year is Sh11.7 billion, meaning the county would spend at least Sh117 million in climate change initiatives.
The move follows the county’s decision to ban charcoal burning, which has since been adopted countrywide.
The passing of the regulations is significant because it moves the county closer to becoming a sub-national implementing entity capable of accessing and using climate finance, including the Green Climate Fund which is set to rise to $100 billion (Sh10 trillion) by 2020.
According to Mr Nicholas Abuya of the Adaptation Consortium, the regulations provide a mechanism through which counties and vulnerable groups can access climate finance to build their resilience to a changing climate in a more co-ordinated way.
Mr Abuya, who is a climate change governance officer with Christian Aid, says Kitui has shown commitment in climate risk management by organising residents through elected ward climate change planning committees to identify and prioritise projects based on agreed criteria.
Speaking during a ceremony to launch the regulations at Kyanika in Nzambani ward, Governor Charity Ngilu, left, said stakeholders will go down to the villages to discuss proposed interventions.
Anglican Development Services executive director Esther Musili said the Swedish government had committed Sh85 million towards setting up adaptation structures in Kitui in readiness for climate change activities.