Mombasa ready for El Nino rains, says Nassir

Investment, Trade and Industries CS Moses Kuria and Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir are entertained by traditional dancers during the ground-breaking ceremony for the County Aggregation and Industrial Park at Miritini on Monday, September 25, 2023. [Charles Omondi, Standard]

The county government of Mombasa has announced plans to mitigate the effects of the looming El Nino rains.

Governor Abdulswamad Nassir has been holding a series of meetings with the County Disaster Preparedness Committee in response to a recent alert by the Kenya Meteorological Department.

The committee, led by Deputy Governor Francis Thoya, has been meeting to strategise on disaster preparedness in anticipation of heavy rains expected from this month to January 2024.

Even as the county government announced its readiness to tackle El Nino effects, an audit by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu revealed inadequacies countrywide in flood response.

Ms Gathungu noted the national government's response to flood disaster emergencies has been characterised by inadequacies and inefficiencies.

The Meteorological Department warning is a stark reminder of the devastation caused by El Nino rains in the past, prompting Nassir’s administration to initiate swift measures to mitigate potential risks.

The governor said the measures include unclogging of drainage systems and a rigorous review of enforcement plans to ensure strict adherence to building standards by all developers operating within the county. 

"These efforts are crucial to prevent physical obstructions to water flows, thereby reducing the risk of flooding. Of particular concern is the welfare of residents in informal settlements who are often the most vulnerable during such natural disasters," Nassir said.

Kenya National Highways Authority constructors construct a drainage line along Mombasa Road in Nairobi on September 9, 2023, ahead of the expected El Nino rains. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Nassir emphasized his commitment to the safety and well-being of all Mombasa County residents. 

"We are leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to protect our communities from the potential ravages of heavy rainfall. It is our responsibility to ensure that we are fully prepared for any eventuality,” he stated during one of the committee meetings.

In addition to these preventive measures, the county administration is gearing up to support the most vulnerable families in Mombasa.

Together with the Kenya Red Cross Society, care packs are being prepared to provide essential supplies that will help the families overcome unforeseen hardships that may arise during the rainy season.

The governor said that his administration is committed to the safety and resilience of Mombasa County residents in the face of natural disasters.

He said the proactive approach demonstrated by the administration is expected to significantly reduce the potential impact of heavy rains in the coming months.

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