Using the Climate Information Portal for sustainable infrastructure development: a case study in Kenya

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The Climate Information Portal (CIP) provides global climate data that can be used for a variety of purposes. One example is illustrated in its role in an environmental impact assessment for Technopolis, a large technology hub planned to be built in the outskirts of Machakos, Nairobi, Kenya.

– Some of the reasons why we used the portal was because it is free, easy to use and accessible also to non-experts, says Mr. Tom Omenda, environmental management consultant at E-CUE Associates Ltd in Kenya.

Portrait of Tom Omenda
Tom Omenda has used the Climate Information Portal in his work as a environmental. management consult.

It was during training sessions held by SMHI, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, that Omenda and his colleagues discovered the potential uses of the portal in their work. The climate data collected from the portal will now guide architects and engineers in designing buildings, roads, drainage infrastructure, utilities, and green spaces of the hub to enhance resilience to climate change.

– The advantage of the CIP is that you are not required to have complex technical input data that would be expensive to acquire. Also, it does not require deep knowledge of data analysis, presentation and interpretation, says Omenda.

Picture of a construction site
Photo: Pixabay

Some predictions were particularly interesting for the project:

Anticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, water discharge and runoff were key aspects of interest because those pose a significant risk in our area. We will certainly use the portal again for other projects, especially infrastructure projects with large footprints, he says.

The hub will be built after the designs are completed and funds secured for the project. These processes are planned to be completed in 2024, followed by construction start later in the year or early 2025.