Per capita income in Kenya is $1,200. Climate change does not currently rank high on the list of pressing concerns of the residents of Nairobi, according to a new study by Meleckidzedeck Khayesi and Chris Shisanya in the journal Climatic Change.
The global concern about climate change appeared like a mere drop in the oceanic context pervaded by problems of poverty, unemployment, crime and corruption, etc. which Nairobi faces, as does Kenya as a whole. Our conclusion is partially reflected in the priorities of the Kenyan government, which focus on poverty alleviation, the fight against crime and graft, improved access to education, and on addressing health problems; it also poses a challenge to the climate change community to find ways to making interventions relevant to local socioeconomic reality facing a developing country city like Nairobi. There may be a need to reconsider ‘whose reality counts’ (borrowing from Robert Chambers, Whose reality counts? Putting the first last, Intermediate Technology Publications, London, p 122, 1997) in addressing climate change: should protracted Kyoto protocol negotiations be given priority or should a long lasting solution be sought to socioeconomic problems facing developing world cities such as Nairobi? We recommend that the ongoing efforts at integrating climate risk management, as components of climate-sensitive sustainable development, be studied in many settings, with a focus on the developing world which is the most vulnerable, in order to inform decision-making and development of intervention measures.