Govt sets aside Sh5b in readiness for El Nino rains

A photo in the Daily Nation on January 27, 1998 shows an oil tanker negotiating what remained of the Kambu Bridge in Mombasa after it was swept away by floods. The government has set aside Sh5 billion and put on standby 70,000 National Youth Service members in readiness for the destructive El Nino rains expected next month. PHOTO | NATION ARCHIVES

What you need to know:

  • County governments will be involved as they will also be expected to implement the plan.
  • The Ministry of Education will be responsible for ensuring the safety of all learners during the period while that of Transport and Infrastructure will make sure roads are passable.
  • The Agriculture ministry will provide farmers with seeds and fertiliser and help them recover if their crops fail due to the rains.
  • The strategy is meant to prevent deaths and property destruction like those reported in the last El Nino rains in 1997.

The government has set aside Sh5 billion and put on standby 70,000 National Youth Service members in readiness for the destructive El Nino rains expected from October.

This is part of an emergency plan revealed by Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday.

The plan brings together all ministries and will help stop loss of lives and massive destruction of property expected during the period.

The money is from the Contingency Fund under the National Treasury.

Further, the government plans to ask Parliament to allocate more funds for the disaster response plan.

The rains are forecast for next month and Mr Ruto on Tuesday held a Cabinet meeting to come up with a national response strategy to be rolled out before, during and after the rains.

The strategy is meant to prevent deaths and property destruction like those reported in the last El Nino rains in 1997.

COUNTY GOVERNMENTS INVOLVED

County governments will be involved as they will also be expected to implement the plan.

“This emergency situation calls for a wholesome intervention by the national and county governments, as well as other stakeholders including the private sector and every Kenyan in order to mitigate the possible negative effects, including the loss of lives and destruction of property,” said Mr Ruto at his residence in Karen after the meeting.

To avoid confusion and competition among the ministries, Interior and National Coordination Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery will coordinate the plan, although each ministry will be expected to play a role to ensure effective response.

The Ministry of Education is responsible for ensuring the safety of all learners during the period while that of Transport and Infrastructure will make sure roads are passable.

The Ministry of Agriculture will provide farmers seeds and fertiliser and help them recover if their crops fail due to the rains.

The meeting was attended by Cabinet secretaries Henry Rotich (National Treasury), Anne Waiguru (Devolution and Planning), Eugene Wamalwa (Water and Irrigation), Raychelle Omamo (Defence) and Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua. Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua represented the county governments.

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