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Murang’a to release disaster emergency plan in September

Murang’a County is working to have a Disaster Emergency Operation plan by September this year.

Relevant stakeholders are currently finalizing drafting the plan which will guide proper response and management of disaster incidences.

The County Executive is expected to get the document and gazette members of the County Disaster Management Committee before forwarding it to the local County Assembly for adoption.

Once passed by the County Assembly, the plan will be forwarded to the National Treasury which will factor in funding in terms of disasters.

Murang’a County is among eight others which the National Government is piloting in the formulation of the emergency operation plan.

Other counties, which are working on the plan include Turkana, Nairobi, Lamu, Isiolo, Tana River, Wajir and Kakamega.

Murang’a County Disaster Manager, Ms Bilha Wanjiku, said lack of emergency operation plan has denied the country opportunities to get funding from international organizations to assist in dealing with disasters.

Wanjiku said all the eight counties are expected to submit their emergency operation plan to the National Treasury before September this year.

“The plan once in place, will help in sourcing funds and structures to respond to a disaster within a short period of time,” noted Wanjiku.

Speaking during a stakeholders’ forum to fine tune the document, Wanjiku said that during disaster incidences, they have been forced to work with few available resources to support and help those affected by the calamities.

“Once we have the plan in place, the government will stand a chance to get up to Sh. 20 billion from the World Bank to help in managing incidences of disasters,” she said on Wednesday.

The plan, she added, will provide elaborated structures on how an occurrence of a disaster will be properly handled.

“In the plan, we have outlined measures to be taken once our County is hit by a disaster. In the past there have been uncoordinated approaches in handling disasters, leading to duplication of actions. This document will also help in proper management of given resources as there have been cases of misappropriation of funds at times of handling disasters,” explained Wanjiku.

In the past, Murang’a County has been hit by various disasters ranging from landslides, fire incidents and drowning among others.

In the document, areas which are at risk to be hit by landslides and floods have been identified and right ways of dealing with such calamities enumerated.

Murang’a County Director of Meteorology, Mr. Paul Murage, lauded the efforts to have an Emergency Operation Plan, saying in the past, managing a disaster has been a challenge to stakeholders.

“Responding to disaster in this County lacked proper structure on what should be done. A plan has specified the immediate measures need to be taken when a disaster is experienced so as to save lives and property. We hope the County Assembly will pass the document as it is late,” added Murage.

By Bernard Munyao

 

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