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Nairobi County on High alert ahead of El Nino rains

The Nairobi County El Niño Preparedness Management Team has issued a warning to Nairobi residents ahead of the expected heavy rains.

The team, which brought together the Nairobi County Disaster and Management Team and the Deputy County Commissioners (DCC), have warned that 200,000 people in Nairobi would be severely affected if nothing is done.

Addressing the media during the briefing at Charter Hall, Nairobi County, Bramwell Simiyu, who is the Chief Officer in charge of Disaster Management and Coordination, said they have mapped out areas that are at risk.

A total of 436 hotspot areas have been earmarked by the team, which requires attention and public awareness from the people to ensure that they are relocated ahead of the rains.

“Conservative figures show that approximately 200,000 people may be affected…we have been having elaborate programs through ward admins, through the local political leadership to alert them of the threats of El-Niño,” CO Simiyu said.

Among the areas earmarked are estates or buildings along the Nairobi River banks, which might be displaced or affected by the El Nino rains.

The committee team said that Kibra, Mathare, Korogocho, and Mukuru will be affected areas and that they have developed plans to ensure that alternative temporary shelters are provided for the residents.

All the sub-counties have also been included in the program, and the residents who will be affected will be able to reach out to the rescue team for assistance through an emergency code, which will be shared at a later date.

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According to Kasarani Deputy County Commissioner Joseph Kamau wa Maina, the emergency team will be spread across the county and the same will be witnessed in other counties.

Mr Kamau said the clarion call of the team to the residents around river banks and riparian areas to coordinate with the team on the ground to prevent any loss of life when the storms of El Niño start.

“People out there will at some point be moved but we are going to talk to them so that they can voluntarily move from the areas that have been declared as hotspot,” Mr Kamau said.

Nairobi County Secretary Patrick Analo said during the briefings that four buildings have been marked as unsafe in Nairobi and Kiambu counties, including the one that collapsed in Kasarani.

“We have mapped outbuildings that are considered to be structurally at risk. We have data of areas that stand the risk of collapsing of buildings and we will be moving forward bringing them down,” Mr Analo said.

According to the County Secretary, the emergency team will monitor some of the structures during the rains if they exhibit the possibility of collapsing.

Kenya Meteorological Department gave a warning that the country might experience heavy rains from October.