Poor urban residents of Mombasa, Kenya, are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts owing to inadequate physical infrastructure (such as sewers and drainage), land and housing vulnerability due to insecure tenure rights, socioeconomic challenges, and limited national-level climate assessments and planning specific to their needs. However, Mombasa residents are engaged in small-scale, locally driven climate-resilience measures. Researchers from the World Bank and local research institutions piloted a method to identify climate vulnerabilities in poor urban areas of Mombasa, understand how residents are coping with climate change, and assess how institutions and policies can better meet community needs in the future. Notable findings and good practices from this assessment are highlighted below.
- Local climate science is often limited, but residents of poor urban areas frequently have a nuanced understanding of weather trends and their impacts, which can support resilience planning and activities.
- Climate change policy is often framed as rural and in terms of disaster risk management, but this approach does not meet the needs of the urban poor. Instead, institutions should also recognize urban climate change vulnerabilities and the fact that climate change impacts typically develop slowly and incrementally.
- A key action for reducing climate change vulnerability and increasing resilience for the urban poor is clarifying land tenure rights and developing coherent urban land policy frameworks.
- Local governments and organizations can support urban poor resilience by building on grassroots adaptation efforts that are already underway.