Floods debacle rests on the State

We have all seen the devastating effects the El Nino rains have had in Kenya. Flooding has been the consequence of the rain that we have for so long desired.

But why is it that for decades we have had the same cycle of events-drought, floods and vice versa? When will we ever learn to take precautions?

I can bet that after the rain is over we will have another emergency… the lack of food and water; diseases et al.

But that’s not my issue.  My beef is with Prime Minister Raila Odinga who on Wednesday blamed the meteorological department for poor forecasts and wrong mapping in the weather predictions.

Mr Prime Minister, when will leaders like yourself stop passing the buck and admit to failure when it indeed occurs? When will you ever accept that there has been poor planning on the part of the central government?

The Meteorological department released its much publicised forecast in late August and warned that the country was likely to experience another episode of El Nino rains beginning October last year all through to January this year.

Indeed am informed that a copy of the forecast was delivered to your good office for action.

The forecast also said that the expected rains would not be as intense as was experienced in 1997/1998 but they would still be heavy.

This brings me to the point Mr Prime Minister.  Blaming the Meteorological department for the devastation faced in the country is in itself selfish.

With that warning, your office and all other lead ministries should have been able to plan prior to the rains and the impact of the flooding we are experiencing now would not be as huge.

Whether the rains begun in October or in December as they did, we should never have been caught napping because the warning was there.
Saying that the predictions by the weatherman made the government to direct disaster preparedness efforts elsewhere, where the floods did not occur is incongruous.

I thought disaster preparedness is supposed to be in every region because emergencies are just that – emergencies! they can occur anywhere and at any time.

And again this is not the first time we are experiencing floods.

The issue here Mr Prime Minister is not poor mapping or prediction, it is sheer lack of planning  and preparedness and you Mr Prime Minister, and all those we have elected to deliver services are to blame for the shortcomings.
And by the way Mr Prime Minister, we have the long rain season coming between March, April and May.

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