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Disaster Committee urges County Assembly to establish emergency fund

Elgeyo Marakwet El-Niño Inter Agency Committee has called on the county assembly to actualise the establishment of an emergency fund which will assist in responding to various disasters in the county.

The Chairperson of the disaster preparedness committee Paul Suter told the committee that even though the Public Financial Management (PFM) act says each county should set aside 2% of its development budget for an emergency fund, the county has not had an emergency fund for the last three years.

Suter however told the committee which was chaired by the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Lands Thomas Maiyo that the assembly was ready to establish the same once a proposal is presented by the executive.

The Kenya Red cross county coordinator Abraham Cheruiyot told the committee 15 landslide incidents were reported in the county with 167 households being affected, four people died from the floods while 43 animals were also lost with Keiyo South sub county being the most affected.

Cheruiyot said among the major challenges different organisations faced in response to the disaster was limited resources thus making it difficult to reach to all those who required assistance and weather conditions which affected distribution.

The CECM roads Emmy Kosgei said the department required funds to repair roads and bridges which were destroyed by the rains.

The county director meteorology Simon Cheptot said the rains will subside going forward saying November was the peak.

He however said institutions involved in disaster preparedness should not relax saying due to the heavy rains the ground was still wet and therefore any slight rains may trigger further landslides.

Speakers expressed concern that despite the county experiencing disasters every time it rains, they can be avoided if people stopped agricultural activities along the escarpment which leaves the soils loose.

The Keiyo South DCC Diana Wekesa said with the destruction going on along the escarpment, the county was sitting on a time bomb and called on the county government to come up with policies which will deter farming activities on steep areas.

The CECM public service Monica Rotich called on the departments of agriculture and environment to work together in advising farmers what type of trees to plant on the escarpment which will hold the soils saying advising farmers to plant fruit trees was not enough.

By Alice Wanjiru

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