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Govt ready for El-Nino rains

Nairobi City residents have been as assured of their safety during the expected El Nino as the county government has put in place measures in readiness for the rains.

Nairobi County Ag. County Secretary Patrick Analo, speaking during the update briefing on El Nino preparedness, said that the main objective of the meeting was to discuss how to coordinate disaster response mechanisms for the expected floods as a result of El Nino.

Analo emphasised that they have looked at the resources that various players have and need to bring on board in terms of personnel, equipment, and machinery.

“We have discussed the need to go into details in terms of identifying the risk-prone areas and how to cover them when the risk comes,” voiced Analo.

Nairobi County Disaster Management and Coordination Chief Officer Bramwell Simiyu remarked that they are pleased to join efforts with disaster management, public health, and public communications since these departments are central in creating awareness and ensuring they have adequate feedback mechanisms to allow them to interact with the public.

“The purpose of this meeting was to ensure we have coordination between the national government and the county government,” said Simiyu.

Simiyu mentioned the Marshall Plan that was launched by the governor, which led to the deployment of a 3,000-strong green army. The army is at the forefront of cleaning the drainage system and managing garbage collection.

“We are keen on ensuring that as that exercise goes on, we are in sync with other key actors, particularly in terms of infrastructure interventions. We also have a plan that will take care of the social and humanitarian response, which explains why we have the Kenya Red Cross. We will ensure our drainage system is in place and that water will flow with minimum damage to the public,” voiced Simiyu.

He added that they are prepared to ensure that they stock adequate supplies, identify areas that need evacuation, and identify alternative accommodation within social halls, churches, and schools where the people affected will be accommodated.

Simiyu added that indeed, with the support of our development partners, including but not limited to the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Red Cross, we have adequate food supplies and non-food supplies that will be able to take care of that.

“In case of an emergency, people can reach out to the Red Cross through their helpline number, 1199, which is a toll-free number,” said Simiyu.

On the issue of mapping hotspots, the county government has identified 463 hotspots across the different sub-counties and has come up with a structured plan to sensitise the inhabitants of these areas that relocation is in their own interest.

They have identified alternative temporary shelters where the residents can be accommodated.

By Nice Wambui

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