Set-up a special team to oversee use of climate change money, civil societies tell GK

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Communities in rural areas, especially those in arid and semi-arid regions who have been adversely affected by impacts of climate change will be the main beneficiaries of FLLoCA funds. PHOTO/WB

By PATRICK MAYOYO

Civil societies involved in climate change activities have asked the Kenyan government to set-up a special team to oversee use of climate finance.

The call was made by, Mr Charles Mwangi, Head of Programs and Research at Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)during the launch of the “FOLLOW THE MONEY CAMPAIGN” an initiative to promote transparency and accountability in climate finance and specifically the World Bank driven Financing Locally Led Climate Action (FLLoCA) programme.

Mr Mwangi who represented PACJA Executive Director, Dr Mithika Mwenda, during an initiative that was jointly facilitated by PACJA, Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF) and Kenya Platform for Climate Governance (KPCG) said they want to see transparency and accountability in the utilization of FLLoCa funds.

“We want the government to set-up a multi-sectoral team comprising of different stakeholders to oversee the utilization of the FLLoCa kitty,” Mr Mwangi said.

The PACJA Head of Programs and Research said parties in the multi-sectoral committee should be officials from the national and county governments, the civil society and representatives of local communities benefiting from the FLLoCa kitty.

He said the multi-sectoral team should have the responsibilities of budget-tracking, ensuring there were tangible deliverables on the ground and overall transparency and accountability in the management of climate finance.

The FLLoCA program jointly supported by World Bank, Denmark, and Sweden is aimed at helping the Kenya Government to translate the country’s ambitious climate agenda into scaled-up action, to support partnerships between government and citizens to identify and invest in solutions to address climate change. FLLoCA is the first national model of devolved climate finance.

The World Bank in October last year approved a Ksh 15 billion (US$150 million) International Development Association (IDA) credit to support community identified and locally led climate resilience projects in all rural wards in Kenya.

The IDA financing will be supplemented by a grant of $21.4 million from the Social Sustainability Initiative for All Umbrella Multi-Donor Trust Fund with resources from the Governments of Denmark and Sweden, making a total of Ksh 19 billion ($171.4 million).

The money is to be channeled through the new Financing Locally–Led Climate Action (FLLoCA) Program.

Ms Wanjira Mathai chair of Wangari Maathai Foundation asked all stakeholders in the climate change sector to ensure money channeled through (FLLoCA) Program reached the local communities as envisaged by the funders.

“We cannot allow the issue of climate finance to be swept under the carpet. We have to ensure there is transparency and accountability in the utlisation of FLLoCA funds,” Ms Mathai said.

The FLLoCA program’s development objective is to deliver locally led climate resilience actions and strengthen county and national governments’ capacity to manage climate risks.

“Kenya has demonstrated leadership in establishing a policy framework to manage climate risk though climate action is still underfunded.” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

Ms Hansen said the financing given by WB would support the Kenyan government in meeting its climate commitments to increase financing for climate action, and particularly ensure climate financing and actions reach local communities.”

At the national level, the program will strengthen the national government’s capacity to support county government actions, enhance the collaboration between national entities on climate change, and facilitate national oversight of the program.

At the county level, the FLLoCA program will be implemented under the Program for Results (PforR) instrument in which counties will receive their annual disbursements based on their performance against a specified results-based criterion.

Notably, 87.5% of the program resources will be spent at the county and community level, demonstrating the commitment to ensure climate finance reaches the lowest levels and those most vulnerable to climate risks.

The PforR instrument will support community-level climate resilience investments while at the same time incentivizing system changes and strengthening county governments’ climate finance and governance systems.

“Communities in rural areas, especially those in arid and semi-arid regions which have been affected by the impacts of climate change such as droughts and floods, outbreaks of climate-related diseases, low farmland productivity, and declining livestock, will be the primary beneficiaries of the program,” said Nicholas Soikan, World Bank Senior Social Development Specialist and Task Team Leader.

The program will also address gender and other equity dimensions by ensuring that women, youth, marginalized and vulnerable groups, minorities, senior citizens, poor households, and persons with disabilities will benefit.

In addition, the program will accelerate the use of participatory planning processes, innovation and climate science. To build sustainability, the program will incentivize counties to create and contribute to county climate change funds.

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