The Chairman of the Disaster Management Committee of the Nakuru County Assembly, Karanja Mburu has tabled a bill seeking to compel the Nakuru County government to set up a structured disaster response unit.
Karanja, who is also the Lakeview MCA noted that the county had in the recent past witnessed several disasters whose response was uncoordinated and in some instances, resulted in loss of life and property.
He cited the recent drowning of a five-year-old boy at the Ndarugu river and the subsequent failure to recover the body as a case in point. He also referred to the Lake Nakuru National Park helicopter crash in 2017 in which bodies of two of the victims have never been recovered to date.
The MCA argued that poor coordination of rescue missions in the past had led to delays in setting up of rescue teams and therefore compromised rescue and search operations.
He said that there were many gaps in rescue operations as different parties conducted uncoordinated operations due to lack of a command centre.
In view of the prevailing situation, the MCA noted that there was need to put in place mechanisms that will compel the County government to set up a well-coordinated and equipped disaster management team to respond to disasters within the shortest time possible.
He has said that should the Assembly pass the bill, it will safeguard residents of Nakuru County, visitors and investors.
The bill he tabled seeks the establishment of a County Disaster Council (CDC) to be chaired by the governor and will draw membership from relevant government departments, humanitarian agencies, youth and disabled persons representatives and the private sector players among others.
The CDC will also be tasked with the formulation and implementation of the County Disaster Management Plan and give overall direction in the event of a disaster or emergency.
It will also ensure disaster preparedness by mapping out possible areas of likely disaster and recommend action to forestall such eventualities.
Karanja envisions the publicizing of the disaster management plan to the general public with a view to giving them direction on what to do in the event of a disaster so as to save lives and the environment.
By Jane Ngugi