Kenya’s Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua convened Thursday an El Nino response and impact mitigation strategic meeting that brought together leadership from both levels of government, other government response agencies, and partners to assess and discuss preparedness in dealing with the expected El Nino rains.
There have been projections that the country will likely experience heavy rains from this month to January 2024. Out of 47 counties, 23 have been earmarked as vulnerable to the heavy rains and the state has set aside Ksh.8 billion as a response package.
The Deputy President gave the government’s commitment to ensure preparedness as well as ensure every responsible State sector and agency is prepared to play their role efficiently.
“I give the government’s commitment that we will apply all resources at our disposal.”
DP Gachagua underscored that the government intends to prevent a reactionary approach to the expected situation through proper coordination and engagement with different partners.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail. Let us compare notes, consolidate and refine the strategy to avoid disjointed reactionary actions.”
He called on county governments to complement national government efforts especially financially to arrest the situation.
“The two levels of giving are not in competition. Let the counties work with the national government in a coordinated approach”
Cs Miano said that “there is a need for cross-cutting coordination at all levels of government, humanitarian organisation and all actors.”
The council of governors through the chair also expressed its determination to ensure preparedness in the devolved units.
Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru said that “counties are coordinating response mechanisms. 23 have submitted reports on their preparedness. Rest will be coming.”
Counties have mapped out hotspots, made plans for the relocation of people, provision of relevant goods and services, robust disease control mechanisms, measures to clear drainages.”
“Out of 23 counties that have submitted reports we have an estimate of Ksh.8 billion. When others come we may need Ksh.15 billion.”
The drought steering committee through the chairman also enumerated the preparedness of the committee which includes the partners saying plans to ensure food distribution are already solidified.
The Deputy President also called on Kenyans to remain vigilant during the period and has urged the media to work with the government to keep Kenyans informed and enlightened throughout the situation.