Kenya better equipped to monitor disasters

July 18, 2013
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NDOC director Nathan Kigotho said the database will monitor natural and un-natural disasters like floods and fires and coordinate activities geared towards quick and effective response/FILE
NDOC director Nathan Kigotho said the database will monitor natural and un-natural disasters like floods and fires and coordinate activities geared towards quick and effective response/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 – The National Disaster Operations Centre (NDOC) in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction on Thursday unveiled a new disaster database whose aim is to monitor and record disasters in Kenya.

NDOC director Nathan Kigotho said the database will monitor natural and un-natural disasters like floods and fires and coordinate activities geared towards quick and effective response.

“The disaster management database serves as a communication medium between the government, public and the centre so that we can disburse information about the disasters and also alert the relevant authorities for them to take the needed action,” Kigotho said.

Kigotho added that they are working towards having the National Policy on Disaster passed in government so that they are able to make laws and policies to guide the centre.

“We had proposed to the previous regime a national disaster policy however with the change of government it was not passed and now we have initiated new talks with the new government which are at an advanced stage and we are working towards getting it passed so that we can be able to create policies that will guide both the centre and the public in disaster management and response.”

The National Policy on Disaster addresses the rising risk in degree of vulnerability to disaster risk and the probability of a hazard turning into a disaster.

It also provides for flexible financial and response procedures to facilitate appropriate, effective and timely planning and management of disaster control initiatives; and reinforces the disaster management strategies of vulnerable and affected communities.

Pedro Basabe, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Regional Director said that the new database will help the country in planning and settling people in safe zones.

“The database application will monitor disaster occurrences and thus forewarn people to take the necessary safety measures geared towards evacuation from the zones or to avoid the disaster prone areas. It will also be accessible to the public to reach the centre to report cases,” Basabe said.

The disaster database comes at a time when the Ministry of Information is working to revive the 999 hotline which was used to report disaster or cases of crime within the country.

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