, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) on Wednesday said the recent rains were likely to improve food production in the country this year and reduce the impact of last year’s drought.
KRCS Disaster Management Acting Head Abdishakur Othowai told Capital News that despite the destruction caused by the rains in some areas, the principal bread basket regions of the country would realise an increased food production in this year’s harvest.
“Apart from Lokori and those other places that crops were washed away, the potential of having a good harvest is still there in many other places,” he asserted.
Other places affected by floods are Mogotio, parts of Rongai and Koibatek.
He said areas that were most affected by the drought like the Ukambani and North Eastern will definitely have some good prospects in food production.
Mr Othowai singled out sections of North Eastern which he said had already recorded remarkable improvement of health for their livestock and their production. He also said the water crisis in that part of the country had been countered.
“There is now food for the animals and the people in the Northern parts, there is also water for both livestock and the people, definitely in this places the effects of the drought have reduced after the rains,” he explained.
However he clarified that the actual estimates of food production would be known in March when the national food security assessment is carried throughout the country.
“The worst aspects of drought have gone… but that is when we will be able to know if we have put the worst behind us or whether the recovery was 50-50,” he said.
According to the police the floods have left 35 people dead so far. KRCS estimates those displaced at 30,000.
Despite the damage, KRCS has commended the government for its improved response to the flood disaster.
Mr Othowai said for the first time, the government responded efficiently since it had opened disaster response centres at provincial levels and in vulnerable districts.
But he said it still had a long way to go to be more efficient to save lives and property on time.
He advised the government to take disaster management response systems to the community level to have people save themselves as they wait for external help.
He said KRCS had already started several community disaster management response systems to act in cases of fires, drought, floods and other disasters. He asked the government to heed the example to reduce the damage caused by disasters in the country.
Mr Othowai also asked members of the public to take the initial responsibility of ensuring their safety during disasters.
He said most times people rely on external help which may arrive too late to save them and their property. Other times he said people ignore any warnings given to them especially if they are asked to relocate from their homes.