Over 2.5 million children to be affected by El Nino

Over 2.5 million children to be affected by El Nino
File photo of floods. PHOTO| COURTESY

About 2.5 million school going children might be affected by the El Nino rains which expected to commence in November and last until January next year.

This is according to National Disaster Operations Centre Director Nathan Kigotho, who has warned children against sheltering under trees when the rains and floods start.

Kigotho also said the government requires Sh15.5 billion to mitigate the impact of the El Nino phenomenon and make early emergency preparations before the rains set it.

The Disaster Operations Centre boss has warned the heavy rains might cause floods and bring about disease outbreaks and disrupt transport and other infrastructure.

Kigotho urged counties to order vaccines to deal with potential outbreaks.

Areas expected to be most affected by El Nino rains and consequent floods include Narok, Nairobi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Tana River, Lake Bogoria Basin, Homa Bay, Isiolo, Kilifi, Budalangi and Nyando regions.

Leaders in different counties have already started operations ahead of El Nino.

Two days ago, the county government of Samburu assured residents that it has put in place measures to mitigate the effects of the impending El Nino rains.

Speaking during a meeting with county officials, Governor Moses Lenolkulal said the national government has given the county Sh5 million to prepare for the rains expected to be the heaviest in 65 years.

He urged farmers to harvest their produce ahead of the rains to avoid losses.

About two weeks ago, the Nairobi City County said it would deploy 400 youth in South C area to unclog blocked drainage in preparation of the rains.

According to Nairobi CEC for Infrastructure and Roads Mohamed Abdulahi, the county government’s decision was guided by the detrimental effects caused by El Nino in 1997 and flash floods of May 2015.

“We are now meeting Nairobi residents to conduct public awareness campaigns and enlighten them on how they can cope during El Nino,” he said.

South C is one of the areas likely to be affected by the rains due to its poor drainage that has caused houses to flood during heavy rains.

He said that most of these systems have been in place since the colonial time and have become ineffective.

Abdulahi assured residents that the exercise would extend to other parts of the county in order to make the country free of flooding.

The CEC also put building owners on notice saying any building constructed on a drainage path will be demolished.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero had earlier said that the country is well prepared to deal with El Nino.

Various estates in Nairobi experienced heavy flooding in May when heavy rains pounded the county.

Most residents blamed the county government for being unprepared and neglect of the county’s drainage systems.

Meanwhile, people living along River Tana have been advised to take their livestock and relocate to higher ground in readiness for the El Nino rains, which are expected to start anytime from next week.

The Agriculture Sector Development Support Program coordinator for Garissa County, Ahmed Abdikarim, said that the county is expected to receive rains above normal which would affect the operations of the residents and there was need to warn them as early as possible.

He further urged the county government to chip in and provide financial support as well domesticate the program so as to avert loss of property and lives in future.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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