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Garissa, Red Cross launch emergency operation center

The Kenya Red Cross in Conjunction with Garissa County government has launched an emergency operation center to mitigate on disasters.

Speaking during the launch at the Garissa fire station, the Kenya Red Cross Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Idriss said the center would be a multi-agency office for coordinating and responding to disasters within the county.

Idriss said that over the years, there has been an increased number of incidences both slow and quick onset disasters affecting negatively on the lives of the citizens.

“This operation set up today will use available technology to respond to disasters more effectively. The center will use technology to appropriately analyze and be able to make predictive information on how likely a disaster will happen in a particular area,” Idriss said.

“Our hope is that, if we are able to utilize this information then we can be able to plan better for our response strategies and be able to link the predicted situation in a country to the funding system for response to the emergency,” he added.

The deputy SG said that one of the challenges the society has had in response to emergencies was funding coming late when the situation was already out of hand.

“With the use of this technology, we can be able to anticipate disasters better, we can provide resources or respond to these disasters much earlier and save more lives,” he noted.

Idriss said the emergency response center comes at a time when the country was experiencing severe drought with over 2.5 million people across 12 counties in dire need of food, water and medicine.

On behalf of the Kenya Red Cross, Idriss donated assorted items among them first Aid kits, gumboots, gloves, reflective jackets and megaphones for use in 13 wards within Garissa County.

Area Governor Ali Korane who was present thanked the Kenya Red Cross Society for collaborating with his administration in establishing the center.

Korane said the county was now better prepared to effectively respond to any disaster from an informed position using the latest technology.

“Coordination in every emergency or disaster is something necessary because it’s the only place where you can get information, data and strategize. I want to personally thank the Kenya Red Cross for opening this emergency operation center,” Korane said.

On drought, Korane said water trucking would continue until there was sufficient rainfall in all sub counties.

The governor said the county government in collaboration with the national government will also roll out food distribution to affected areas.

By Jacob Songok

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