Waiguru distributes free gas cylinders to homesteads neighbouring Mt. Kenya Forest as mitigation to climate change

Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru has distributed 600 filled gas cylinders (Meko) to households in Ngariama Ward, as part of climate change mitigation measures.

The initiative is aimed at helping families neighbouring Mt. Kenya Forest deal with effect of climate change brought about by tree felling for firewood as well as greenhouse gas emission caused byuse of wood fuel.

Waiguru said that her administration is at the forefront in the fight against climate change and one of the concerns has been treefelling especially in Mt. Kenya Forest which neighbors the area.

“We are taking drastic measures to sensitize and support our people on clean energy fuel as opposed to firewood and today we are providing 600 homesteads with filled gas cylinders with plans to later distribute 3,000 more in the same ward,said the governor.

She noted that the initiative was also a way of improving and dignifying the lives of women who have to endure the challenges brought about by use of firewood in their homes, including wasting time in search of the same and dealing with endless soot.

“This is not only a climate change mitigation measure but also a way of improving the lives of our women,” she said.

Besides being one of the most efficient and cost-effective source of cooking fuel, the governor said use of LPG saves families from the effects of pollutants such as carbon monoxide.

She said several other legislative, institutional and strategic climate change mitigation interventions are being undertaken by the County Government so as to help the community cope with the phenomena. The measures include; establishment of a special fund for climate actions, enactment of laws for solid waste management, establishment of climate change directorate, training and capacity building for officers on climate change and development of county spatial plan. Others are the Wezesha Kirinyaga program meant to improve farmers resilience to climate change and increase theirprofitability and minimize farm losses, promotion of agroforestry through distribution of high value fruit trees like Hass avocado and macadamia to farmers, undertaking of over 60 community water projects to improve access to water for both domestic and irrigation, tree planting, water harvesting among others.

At the same time, the governor issued assorted socio-economic empowerment materials and equipment to various common interest groups in the area.

A total of eight (100 sitter) tents and 800 plastic chairs were issued to 10 self-help groups who will be using them during their social events or hire them for income generation. Three other groups were each given incubators to enable them operate hatcheries for production of chicks for rearing or for sale to other farmers.  

“The chairs and tents will be of great help to members whenever they have events thus saving them the money that could have been used to hire the items. They can also be hiring them out for income,” she said.

To further enhance agricultural production in the ward, Waiguru distributed 256 water pipes and 152 pipe fittings of assorted sizesfor a local irrigation water project.

She said that availability of irrigation water will enable the beneficiaries increase production of crops such as vegetables, maize and other horticultural produce.

“This initiative is part of our elaborate plan to increase access to water for domestic and irrigation which we have achieved through sinking of boreholes, distribution of water pipes and fittings and construction of water tanks for community water projects,” the Council of Governors (COG) chair added.

The youth were not left behind as the governor issued 12 football teams with 24 footballs, 108 pairs of boots, 108 pairs of socks, 12 pairs of gloves and four football nets. She said that youth empowerment remains a priority in the county’s development agenda whereby there has been various initiatives on nurturing sports talent for livelihood.

Waiguru appealed to the young generation to remain steadfast in their quest for a better life and avoid getting distracted by wayward activities such as drug and alcohol abuse.

To boost Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) learning, the governor distributed free school uniforms and learning materials for all the 353 ECDE learners.

She also issued a cheque of Ksh. 6.21 million bursaries to benefit 1,997 the area’s needy students drawn from secondary schools, tertiary institutions and universities.

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