We have stepped up readiness for El Nino, says Gachagua


Section of Bute Town in Wajir County submerged by flood water. [Mohamed Saman, Standard]

The government has rolled out a raft of measures to combat the negative effects of the heavy rains being experienced in the country.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the government has tightened its emergency response to the enhanced rainfall.

Among the interventions is deploying aircrafts to help in evacuation processes. This is after the National Meteorological Services confirmed the heavy rains are as a result of the El Nino phenomenon.

The DP spoke on Friday after chairing a meeting that brought together relevant ministries, agencies and State departments, affected counties, local and international agencies at Harambee House Annex.

Gachagua assured Kenyans that the government will deploy every available resource to ensure their safety. The DP also said the Kenya Defence Forces aircraft had been deployed for the evacuation of people in marooned areas.

“I assure the nation that all necessary resources will be deployed to ensure the safety, security and comfort of our people and their property,” he said.

Mr Gachagua asked for humanitarian assistance from partners for an effective response. 

“We are working with our development partners, counties and other key agencies. We are also distributing food and other non-food items to tens of families affected to reduce their suffering,” Gachagua said.

He said the committee is ensuring coordinated actions for quicker and impactful response in most-affected regions. 

“The Emergency Response Committee is coordinating a consolidated approach for efficiency and effective action. This is preventing duplication of the response as well as ensuring no place or person is left behind,” he added.   

More than 19 counties, mostly in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands have been affected but the government has beefed up response including evacuation and increased distribution of food to the displaced. 

“We are working with governors, development partners and other agencies to distribute food and non-food items to tens of families,” the DP added.

He said the Roads Ministry is undertaking emergency repair and rehabilitation of roads to improve access in the affected areas. 

Mr Gachagua also said the government will continue issuing alerts to Kenyans in affected areas to evacuate to safer grounds.  

He called on counties and humanitarian organisations to allocate more resources to complement State’s response efforts.