Mainstreaming climate change adaptation in Kenya: lessons from Makueni and Wajir counties



▪ Mainstreaming adaptation—which entails integrating climate risks and actions into development planning across sectors and from the national to the local level—is essential for making development more resilient to climate change. However, it is challenging for many reasons, including a lack of information on climate risks and limited capacity to integrate climate information into development planning.

▪ This paper examines the process of mainstreaming climate risks into county-level development plans in Kenya through two case studies. It highlights the enabling factors and challenges that two counties—Makueni and Wajir—have encountered in mainstreaming climate risks based on interviews with Kenya’s Council of Governors and county governments and an analysis of county plans.

▪ Comparisons between counties show that Makueni and Wajir have made strong progress on mainstreaming climate change adaptation by establishing County Climate Change Funds, which have enabled adaptation planners to incorporate climate information and prioritize adaptation measures in their County Integrated Development Plans.

▪ The experiences of Makueni and Wajir Counties illustrate the challenges of integrating adaptation into planning, which can be addressed by expanding learning and strengthening institutional memory among county- and ward-level planners on how to apply climate information to planning processes, improve fund management, and enhance guidance on selecting and implementing appropriate adaptation measures.