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Climate smart innovators wanted for Sh100m prize

Sunday October 4 2015

An aerial picture showing Nairobi City. The year 2015 is shaping up to be the hottest on record, the UN’s weather agency said on Wednesday, days before a UN summit opens in Paris to craft a climate rescue pact. PHOTO | FILE

An aerial picture showing Nairobi City. The year 2015 is shaping up to be the hottest on record, the UN’s weather agency said on Wednesday, days before a UN summit opens in Paris to craft a climate rescue pact. PHOTO | FILE 

 EUNICE KILONZO
By EUNICE KILONZO
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SOME SH100 MILLION is up for grabs for individuals with innovative ideas that can help curb climate change.

The award dubbed Climate Information Prize (CIP) was launched on Wednesday in Nairobi and is looking out for innovators in any field who can create solutions to make climate information more useable to poor individuals, households and communities.

The award looks at projects that will incorporate weather-related information such as temperature, rainfall, wind, soil moisture and humidity and how these can inform residents on flash floods, timing of planting, and outbreak of diseases among others.

Weather extremes such as the expected El Niño rains and droughts cause losses to farmers and to the economy with researchers worried that by 2030, these losses will be equivalent to Sh165 billion or 3 per cent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product.

According to the initiative’s coordinator Nicki Spence of Cardno Emerging Markets, the CIP will consists of two types of prizes.

She said: “The first is called Wazo (ideas) Prize, which kicks off in October 2015, and will consist of monetary prize awards with a particular focus on the recognition, showcasing, and publicity of novel ideas and actors in the area of climate information.”

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The deadline for submissions is February 7, 2016. The winners will receive cash prizes, with a maximum individual prize of Sh1.5 million, Ms Spence said. More information on the prize can be accessed at www.climateinformationprize.org.

The second is the Tekeleza (implementation) Prize that will be awarded to the best applicants who have implemented their ideas on-the-ground over several years, and who can demonstrate the highest impact across a number of indicators. “Anyone across the world can participate in the competition provided their project works with Kenyan communities,” Ms Spence added.–