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Gachagua convenes emergency response team over El Nino

By Mercy Simiyu September 19th, 2023 2 min read

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has announced the convening of the National Emergency Response Committee to address Kenya’s readiness for the anticipated El Niño rains.

Mr. Gachagua explained the committee will formulate plans to alleviate the potential harm that could arise from the expected severe rainy season.

“At the upcoming National Emergency Response Committee meeting, which I chair, we will bring together government agencies, development partners, the Red Cross, international organizations, and all relevant stakeholders to discuss our preparedness for the expected El Niño rains,” Deputy President Gachagua announced.

“In the long-term, we are working on Public Private Partnership in building water harvesting structures, including dams across the country. This will help us take advantage of such large amounts of water for food production,” He added

Mr. Gachagua further mentioned that the government is currently engaged in a collaborative effort with private entities to construct water retention systems, which include dams, on a national scale. He explained that this initiative is aimed at harnessing ample water resources to bolster food production.

The second in command underscored the importance of cross-sector cooperation in disaster preparedness.

“We are asking our brothers and sisters in the African continent to spare us in having to deal with disaster and emergency arising out of armed conflicts and the fight for leadership and scarce resources” said Mr Gachagua.

The call for renewed investment comes against the backdrop of adoption of The African Leaders Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and Call to Action.

Last week, the Kenya Meteorological Department issued a weather forecast alert, indicating that heavy rains are anticipated from September to January 2024. Deputy President Gachagua noted, “Forecasts suggest the likelihood of El Niño rains during the period from September to January 2024, and we extend an invitation for collaboration to implement measures aimed at preventing potential disasters.” Notably, several counties have already initiated proactive measures to enhance their disaster preparedness.

Some of the regions expected to be significantly affected by El Niño rains include Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Kericho, Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Vihiga, Laikipia (Laikipia West), Nakuru, and Narok.

Gachagua further said in recent years, external funding has been dwindling, due to, among other factors, donor fatigue. That is why Africa must match every coin of the partners and other actors to speed up development.

“The national, regional, and international development blueprints must be harmonized, fostering collaboration to ensure a more efficient allocation of resources and a coordinated approach to address the pressing challenges that our continent faces,” he said.

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