Access to Locally Controlled Data Saves More Mangoes

It was a modest intervention — a drop in the ocean of global climate finance — yet it has made the difference between profit and loss for a group of businesswomen in southeast Kenya’s Makueni County.

Ever since their cooperative, Huruma Asili, began receiving daily weather updates via mobile phone a year ago, fewer of their sliced mangoes turn an unsellable shade of black when laid out to dry.

The service sprang not from a one-size-fits-all template drawn up by a government ministry or a far-flung aid agency, but from the women’s own considered response to a simple question posed by their peers to the whole neighbourhood: “What do you need to lessen the harm of climate change?”

It’s a bottom-up approach that underpins fledgling local adaptation initiatives in Kenya, one of the largest recipients of climate finance in sub-Saharan Africa. It also paves the way for the country’s 47 counties to gain access to major sources of money, such as the UN’s Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund, which was set up under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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