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Our disaster response raises many questions

By The Standard | Jun 8th 2018 | 2 min read
Local residents carry some of the 10 bodies retrieved from the Sax aircraft crush at Aberdares forest. [Elvis Ogina/Standard]

Emergency response to the missing FlySax plane has been wanting; it has worsened the tragic situation. Imagine the tortuous wait that families have had to go through, relying on unconfirmed media reports for the update on the whereabouts of their loved ones.

Worst of all, this is not the first time that our emergency response is being called to question. Time and again, we have been reassured that emergency response services will be revamped, only to be confronted by the sorry state of things when disaster strikes.

How hard is it to get the equipment that will help during such times? This arises because, although rescuers from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Kenya Air Force and the Red Cross arrived at the scene, there was little they could do because of bad weather.

From the Sachangwan fire tragedy, to the Sinai fire and lately the Patel Dams tragedy, our inadequacies in times of emergency border on criminal negligence. One wonders; had there been a known public figure on the plane, would it have taken this long to scramble rescuers to the site of the horrific crash? Why treat these ones as if they are lesser Kenyans?

The delay or the apparent lack of any sense of urgency is a clear indication of the lack of humanness in our emergency response. How callous that a government official can face distraught family members and without batting an eyelid tell them that the rescue operation has been called off because of bad weather.

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