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MPs propose closure of schools affected by floods

14 May 2015, 07:56 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Three MPs have condemned the government’s poor disaster management response in dealing with the wreaking floods as a result of ongoing torrential rains in Nairobi and other parts of the country that have led to deaths and destruction of property.

The legislators led by Mbita MP, Millie Odhiambo, have asked the Education Cabinet Secretary, Jacob Kaimenyi to urgently order school heads to allow children to attend morning lessons and break early for home to avoid being caught up by heavy rains.

“There is inadequate emergency preparedness such as this flooding season and the government should intervene with urgency. We ask for temporary closure of most affected schools or allow schools children to return home early in the afternoon before the rain starts,” said Odhiambo.

She said it was so embarrassing to see photos of panicking school children on social media crying for help amid the threat of their school buses being carried away by flood waters in Nairobi Tuesday evening.

“Emergency measures should be taken immediately other than wait for the occurrence of disasters. If those school children died from the flooding, it could now be news all over in the media and we don’t expect such a situation to happen,” warned Odhiambo.

Read Also: Students sleep in the cold as school bus is trapped in flood water

Mukureini MP, Kabando wa Kabando accused the government of putting much focus on urban planning and forgetting rural areas that are prone to a series of disasters ranging from flooding due to poor drainage, fire incidents among others.

“Yesterday, I had to visit many victims of flooding in my constituency in Nyeri where their houses had been destroyed by heavy rains and had nowhere to shelter. It is time for us (political leaders) to look for solution to crises by pushing the Executive to develop proper emergency measures such as an institutionalized program that is well funded and facilitated,” said Kabando.

He reiterated that timely precautionary measures both for urban and rural area planning in terms of proper housing and drainage will help overcome the annual disasters that have wrecked various parts of the country.

Nyeri County MP, Priscilla Nyokabi lauded the Kenya Red Cross for timely response to disasters in the nation and challenged other government agencies to collaborate with the humanitarian organization in saving lives.

“Counties should invest much in disaster management facilities such as fire engines in preparation for emergencies. The three of us (MPs) are considering coming up with a motion when the House resumes to review laws related to emergency services for such programs to be well budgeted for and empowered,” said Nyokabi.

She added that the push for stronger policy measures and adequate fund allocation towards long term emergency programs will be of great help in the future but asked the government prioritize short term responses to curb loss of lives and destruction of property.

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