Turkana County secretary Peter Eripete has called for the establishment of an emergency response system in the county which he said will be crucial for timely response to disasters.
Speaking during an initial planning and advisory meeting on the establishment of the county Disaster risk management (DRM) policy convened by the county government in partnership with the world food programme (WFP), Eripete said that an operation centre centrally located for coordination will fix communication breakdown at times of emergency response.
Public service, administration and disaster management County executive committee member Esther Lokwei said that the DRM policy once operationalized will be a key step in achieving sustainable strategy in combating disasters as it will guide county departments in mainstreaming disaster management programmes and called for stakeholders to implement the policy as it is vital for the county.
Chief Officer Administration Gladys Akrika on her part admitted that the ad hoc team formed during the recent floods partly informed the establishment of the DRM.
According to WFP head of office Ruth Amatalo, an agreement for a joint work plan for disaster risk reduction has been put in place and once formed, the DRM committee will be trained by WFP.
Also present at the meeting was a security advisor Augustine Lokwang who also called for the involvement of other sectors in the formulation of the DRM policy. He insisted that the policy should not limit disasters to floods but should take a broader perspective and classify internal conflicts and terrorism among other thorny issues as disasters.
“For efficiency in response, the disaster response unit should focus on analysis, technology and communication,” he advised.
By Peter Gitonga