Kenya ready for El Nino despite cash crunch – Wamalwa
Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has allayed fears that there could be a crisis in the county’s preparedness for El Nino due to the current financial crisis in the country.
Wamalwa noted that line ministries, including Water, Health, Transport, and Education ministries, which are part of a multi-agency committee that was set up to come up with mitigation measures ahead of the rains, already have funds in their budgets for the same.
The cabinet secretary said that they will continue with all their preparedness programmes within their budgets.
He further stated that county governments are also required by law to set aside funds for emergencies, adding that most of them have already allocated considerable amounts towards the same.
He at the same time urged Kenyans in flood-prone areas to continue with preparations ahead of the rains, saying they should not take experts’ alerts for granted.
In September, Wamalwa urged Kenyans to ensure they conserve enough water to sustain them for several months once El Nino begins.
The Water and Irrigation CS said dams sunk during the colonial era are still operational, adding that there was need to desilt them in order to enable proper storage and harvesting water, especially for use after the long rains.
He said the government would use the National Youth Service (NYS) and other development partners and the county governments to desilt the dams and urged Kenyans to ensure they make good use of the rainwater.
Last month, National Disaster Operations Centre (NDOC) Director Nathan Kigotho said about 2.5 million school going children might be affected by the El Nino, which is expected to commence in October and last until January next year.
On Thursday, the County Government of Samburu unveiled plans for El Nino preparedness by forming a Steering Committee to mitigate possible effects of the heavy downpour.
The Samburu National Drought Management (NDMA) coordinator Alex Leseketet led stakeholders in visiting several villages within Samburu County and initiating public awareness on El Nino and its effects.
The stakeholders included World Vision, Acted Kenya, Catholic Diocese, Samburu Agriculture Department among others.
Other counties have also joined in the effort to ensure the El Nino rains do not wreak as much havoc as they did in 1997.
The Narok County Government has build a wall to re-direct flood waters away from human settlements to avert the loss of life and property that was witnessed earlier in the year as a result of the long rains.
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