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UN calls for stronger disaster preventive measures for Cities

The  United Nations (UN) is calling for a shift of focus from responsive to preventive measures in disaster risk reduction for Cities.

The UN Secretary-General Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms. Momi Muzitori made the call and underscored the role that disaster resilience plays in achieving sustainable development for Cities.

Muzitori  who spoke during a tour to assess the progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015-2030 in Kisumu on Tuesday, urged the City managers to accelerate the adoption of the agreementprotocals.

The Sendai framework is a global roadmap for disaster risk reduction that identifies 10 priority areas for strengthening cities’ disaster resilience.

The UN diplomat hailed Kisumu City for investing in projects, through the Kisumu Urban Project (KUP), that targets environmental conservation and disaster preventive physical infrastructure.

Kisumu is among the five pilot cities in Africa currently getting support in implementing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) action plans

The City is in the process of implementing a Sh.4.8 billion satellite project funded by the French government and geared towards promoting sustainable development.

Key highlights of the KUP projects, include opening up and upgrade of roads in the informal settlement areas and the entire city, building of model schools, enhancing access to health facilities, opening up of drainage and curbing pollution among a satellite of other projects.

Muzitori  who  was accompanied by the UN Regional Director for Africa, Amjad Abboshou and Kisumu City Manager Doris Ombara hailed the ongoing evacuation of the Kacho dumpsite but cited the need for a comprehensive waste management system for the city.

“It is not only about taking this waste away and putting it somewhere else, there must be a comprehensive plan of understanding what this waste is and making sure that the way it will be disposedoff in another place is not just moving it from one place to another,” Muzitori said

She also commended the construction of bridges, especially the Kakoth Bridge in East Kolwa location that had restored severed communication between the local communities and helped school learners regain access to their institutions.

Abboshou on his part stressed the need for local governments to understand their unique vulnerabilities to risk which should underpin their respective strategies in mitigating such disasters.

Ombara reiterated the city’s commitment to strengthening and aligning DRR preventive measures with the city’s management annual development programme.

Muzitori further pledged to favourably pitch for support for Kenya’s DRR case at the UN.

By  Milton  Onyango

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