About 3 million Kenyans affected by disasters annually
14 October 2015, 13:19
Nairobi - About two to three million Kenyans are affected by man-made and natural disasters every year, National Drought Management Authority (NADMA) Chief Executive Officer, James Oduor has revealed.
Oduor said disasters such as; drought, fires, floods, disease epidemics and terrorism have been increasing over time, hence need for the country to be prepared to handle them.
He attributed the increase in the frequency of the disasters to climate change, widespread poverty and rapid increase in population among others.
Speaking during this year’s International Day of Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) at Maasai Mara University in Narok County, Oduor lamented that the country lacks laws on disaster preparedness and responsiveness.
“The country’s vulnerability to these disasters and lack of preparedness has contributed to the massive damages that have cost the country billions through destruction of livelihood, infrastructure, economic activities and development,” said Oduor.
He observed that all these losses could have been alleviated if the country was in a state of disaster preparedness instead of being reactionary.
This comes as the meteorology department warned that the country might experience El-nino rains any time this month. Heavy rains earlier this year caused havoc in Narok town and other parts of the country leading to loss of property and lives.
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“The meeting in Sendai city, Japan early this year adopted a new framework which calls for a more action-oriented approach to disaster management among countries,” he said.
The CEO added that the just ended Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) on disaster which Kenya is a signatory spelt-out the role of each partner in disaster management.
On her part, Narok County Executive Committee member (CEC) in charge of Administration, Public Service and Disaster Management Lena Munke said the County was prepared to handle any flooding in the town that might come as a result of the expected Elnino rains in order to avert loss of lives and property as it has happened in the past.
Meanwhile, Elgeyo-Marakwet Women Representative, Susan Chebet has called for the streamlining of laws on disaster management in order to seal loopholes in their application in the country.
Chebet said there were inconsistencies in various laws governing disaster management which has made it difficult to manage disasters in the country.
She said the members of the Kenya Women Parliamentarians Association (KEWOPA) will rally other MPs in a bid to harmonize these laws.
“It is women and children who suffer most when disasters strike and hence KEWOPA will move a motion to ensure proper laws on disaster preparedness are formulated in disaster management,” she said.
She said disaster awareness among the communities will go a long way in reducing disasters and ensure lives and properties are saved.
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