UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (UK PACT) and Makueni County have continued to root for sustainable energy and nature-based solutions to climate change.

During a visit two-day visit, the UK officials supervised the installation of solar panels at Makueni County Referral Hospital to enable the health facility to fully rely on solar power.

The initiative backed by UK and Makueni County will see solar capacity of 200 kilowatts peak load that is anticipated to cut the hospital’s power costs by at least Sh7 million yearly.

Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr lauded UK PACT for the partnership saying Makueni is devoted to pursuing efforts that will promote renewable energy and restore the county’s ecosystem.

“Our County is endowed with natural resources, and we have fully integrated green energy in our County Energy Plan,” said Mutula Jnr.

He added: “Our partnership is geared to put in place a state-of-the-art County Energy Center in Kisingo to serve the County and the Country at large.”

British High Commission Economic Counsellor Daniel Wilcox expressed UK’s commitment to help Kenya tackle environmental and climate change challenges to spur economic growth.

“This is why we are working with counties like Makueni towards the realisation of green energy and land and ecosystem restoration,” indicated Wilcox.

He added: “We are committed to strengthen the community’s capacity to respond to climate change and support the productive use of energy through useful energy plans.”

The joint team also visited farmers who are Trainers-of-Trainers (ToTs) on forest and land restoration to assess their interventions which have greatly improved farmers’ livelihoods.

Among the interventions adopted include water conservation efforts such as water channeling to farm ponds and using shade nets to minimize water loss through evaporation.

The project led by ICRAF explores ways of adapting to climate change and lead farmers have expanded the training to 775 others in Makueni backed by equitable gender participation.

The initiative has also seen tree nursery workers support communities in the county to grow trees, as more than 1000 beneficiaries have been trained on forest and land restoration.