Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has declared climate change a national security threat, listing it in the top five existential threats facing the country.

Speaking on Monday during the National Tree Planting Day/Green Holiday, Prof Kindiki noted that the recurring conflicts between farmers and pastoralists, often resulting in fatalities, injuries, and property damage, stem from the competition for scarce resources exacerbated by climate change.

“Tree planting and growing will be a national culture in the country and all National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) are directed to spearhead it in their respective jurisdictions to save our country from the ravages of climate change, including droughts and floods,” Kindiki said in Garissa.

The CS announced that over 300,000 tree seedlings will be planted in the North Eastern Region counties of Garissa, Mandera, and Wajir, with the coordination of local chiefs.

Alongside Climate Change, CS Kindiki identified Terrorism, Banditry and livestock rustling, Political extremism as well as the trade, use, and abuse of illicit alcohol, narcotic drugs, and psychotropic substances as the remaining four national security threats.

“Climate change remains among Kenya’s Top 5 security threats, sparking and fuelling frequent resource-based clashes between communities, particularly farmers and pastoralists. To avert such conflicts and the resultant loss of lives and destruction of property, Kenya aims at increasing its forest cover by growing at least 15 billion trees by 2032 in an effort to conserve the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change, including floods and perennial droughts,” said the CS.