We are ready for El Nino, says Water CS Eugene Wamalwa
Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has reassured the public that the government is well prepared to contain the effects of the impending El Nino rains.
Wamalwa, however, urged farmers from Rift Valley to harvest their crops ahead of the rains which are expected to pound the country this month.
Wamalwa was speaking in Charengani Constituency, Trans-Nzoia County during the burial of Macia Muliro, the late freedom fighter Masinde Muliro’s wife.
In September, Wamalwa urged Kenyans to ensure they conserve enough water to sustain them for several months once the El Nino begins.
According to the Water and Irrigation CS, dams sunk during the colonial era are still operational.
The Cabinet Secretary emphasized on the need to desilt them in order to enable proper storage and harvesting 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 rain water.
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.
Kigotho warned children against sheltering under trees when the rains and floods start.
Kigotho also said the government requires Ksh 15.5 billion to mitigate the impact of the El Nino phenomenon.
The NDOC boss has warned that the heavy rains might cause floods, 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.
About five 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.
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