Environment

EMERGENCY

Eco-villages, kenyan solution to climate disasters

05-11-2021 by Leni Frau

The suffering situation of Kenya, taken as an example at international level of a nation with great potential and prospects but at the same time struggling with unsustainable development, aggravated by the climate crisis and emissions, held the stage at the recent Glasgow conference on the safeguarding of the planet.
Within the country there are many different problems that belong to the geophysics of the territory, to the water sources and above all to the ongoing deforestation.
One of these regions is undoubtedly Tana River County, which has suffered over the last half century from progressive calamities that have equally involved droughts and floods, and now have to do with deforestation and smuggling.
The county's mortality rate coupled with climate change is one of the highest on the entire continent.
Annual losses of homes and infrastructure related to inclement weather amount to about 2 billion shillings, of which the county itself only manages to cover a quarter to handle disasters and emergencies.
With a population of over 370,000 people, it is estimated that at least 100,000 of them are affected every time a weather-related disaster hits the area. Destroying crops and killing livestock, each disaster is estimated to reduce the economic stability of affected families by more than 60%, relegating at least 2,000 new families to surviving on less than a dollar a day each time.
One of the possible solutions to buffer this phenomenon has been recently introduced by Governor Dhadho Godhana. It is the concept of ecovillages.
The ecovillages would be settlements of about 6 thousand citizens, modern "clusters" that would include safe housing, schools, health dispensaries, food and industrial production areas, an open-air market with wells in every area. True small towns, perhaps a bit aseptic, but certainly propaedeutic.
"It is a human-scale and comprehensive settlement in which human activities are well integrated in a way that supports healthy human development," the Governor explained to the Daily Nation newspaper, "the goal of ecovillages is to eradicate poverty and ensure the integration of all basic human needs.
The sustainability of the project should be based on the use of locally sourced materials, using sustainable technologies and infrastructure and directing the work towards the restoration and protection of the natural environment.
There could be 14 to 18 villages to be moved from at-risk areas into ecovillages, to protect the roughly 100,000 souls under climate check.
Obviously the county, as Godhana confirms, does not have the funds to support the entire project, but it is evaluating the feasibility of a pilot village, Handampia, where work has already begun on roads, small irrigation schemes, connection to electricity and water supply systems.
"We are waiting for possible private partners and organizations to realize the worthiness of our project going forward." said Godhana.

TAGS: eco kenyavillaggi kenyaclima kenyadisastri kenyatana river

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