Kenya: Climate Change Takes Toll On Mt Kili Ice Cap

Jun 17th, 2014 | By | Category: Information and Communication, News

DEPUTY Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Environment), Ms Ummy Mwalimu, has said that Mount Kilimanjaro has from 1912 to date lost almost 30 per cent of its ice.

Ms Mwalimu told the National Assembly that ice melting at the cap of the mountain was attributed to global warming, according to a research conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

She was answering a question from Rajab Mbarouk Mohamed (Ole-CUF) who wanted to know about efforts taken by the government to protect the mountain and the residents of nearby villages. He also wanted to know about the amount of glacier that has been lost due to climate change.

The deputy minister outlined some of the measures the government was taking to protect the mountain as including continuing to push developed countries to reduce green gas emissions by 5.2 per cent in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

She said Kilimanjaro Region was implementing a sustainable development programme on land use under a special plan against climate change going on in African countries.

She said the four-year programme (2011-2015) was being financed by the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) at a cost of USD 3 million. “We are aware of the negative impacts of climate change on Mt Kilimanjaro.

The government, in collaboration with international organisations, has been taking various measures to protect it,” she noted.

Mwalimu, however, explained that the government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and the Kilimanjaro National Parks Authority (KINAPA), had embarked on a tree planting exercise and prohibited forest burning.

She said the authorities in Kilimanjaro region had completely banned tree harvesting for timber and that harvesting was only granted with special permits.

Responding to an additional question from Rombo legislator, Joseph Selasini (Chadema), who queried why the government had imposed a ban on harvesting by locals their own matured trees, she said the aim was to control tree harvesting, but added that they could be allowed if they followed the set procedure.

“The villagers can be allowed to harvest their matured trees, but they should follow the procedure from the village to the district level. All this is done to protect the environment and Mt Kilimanjaro,” she said.

According to her, once the four-year UNDP programme expired, there would be another one for which the ministry had already completed preparing a concept paper.

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