Nairobi County deploys 2,500 youths to Sub-counties ahead of the El Nino rains

Casuals hired as sanitation workers with their tools at Uhuru Park after Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja launched the start of their contract on September 10,2023. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

A team of 2,500 youths who were employed by Nairobi County to help in unclogging drainages and clearing bushes ahead of predicted El Nino rains have been deployed to the Sub-Counties.

The team under the environment department will be working around the clock to ensure that all the drainages in the city wards are free of wastes that are likely to block waterways.

Speaking after overseeing the deployment process Environment Chief Officer Ibrahim Otieno said the youths have been sent to all the 85 wards in the city.

"We have deployed them, deepening on the number of wards in the Sub-county and the number of hotspots we identified" Otieno.

Even so, the Chief Officer said others were retained under Rapid Response units who will be on standby to assist in areas that could be affected the most once the rains start as predicted by the weatherman.

From the 2,500 Otieno said some of them will be working around some areas of the city centre so that no areas are left unattended once the rains start.

On September 11, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja said the County is in the process of recruiting another 1000 youths who will join the team as part greening the city.

“This is the largest single recruitment of environmental staff in the county. The deployment reflects the urgency of the task and backlog that must be cleared in time for the rains,” Sakaja stated, adding that an additional team of 1,000 will be enlisted to assist in the clean-up exercise.

“The work sites have been identified and mapped out and the work starts immediately and I urge everyone to cooperate with the county teams,” he noted.

To avert calamities associated with floods, the county boss said his administration will identify buildings that are standing in areas that are likely to block waterways.

“There will be a full review of the legal options available to the county government for handling and mitigating environmental and building offenses,” he stated.

At the same time, he said the county government will revamp the disaster management unit in readiness for the heavy rains.

While the county government was trying to put in place mitigation measures, Sakaja expressed disappointment at the blatant encroachment on riparian areas.

Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) has started unclogging and expanding drainage systems along Mombasa Road.