, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 23 – County governments have been challenged to set aside at least Sh50 million each to mitigate adverse effects of the El Nino rains expected to hit the country in October.
Environment, Water and Natural Resource Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe said it was important to take these measures as flooding will result in heavy rains, waterborne diseases, floods, power failure and make roads impassable, among other challenges.
“This is the time now that you should go through some painful decisions that you are not going to travel anymore, no thinking of sitting allowances and probably doing those other things. We put money aside until we see the situation,” said the Environment PS.
“You know the floods are coming, you know the devastation that will follow, there will be no enough food, and what are you planning to do for your people as a county government? You cannot tell me Sh20 million is something that you are going to put in there, this is peanuts. You should be telling me that you have set aside between Sh25 million and Sh50 million.”
He spoke after meeting with the 47 County Executive committee members in charge of environment.
The executives had set aside Sh20 million each in order to assist over 500,000 people expected to be displaced from their homes during the expected El Nino rains.
He called on the authorities in urban areas to improve drainage systems to reduce flooding.
“When Nairobi clogs we are done as a nation, and we have seen how it happens. If you look at South C, where we have a sub-power station and it floods, it plunges the whole place into darkness. If Mombasa Road and Uhuru Highway which are the main artery of the city, floods we are done. We don’t want to see this happening again, so we have urban areas that we need to give special attention,” Lesiyampe said.
The Council of Governors and Cabinet Secretaries for Interior, that of Devolution, Environment and Irrigation will meet to finalize measures to save lives and reduce losses, the residents feel that the process is too slow.
During Wednesday’s meeting with PS Lesiyampe, the CECs called for the set up of a basket fund in which additional funds from donor and development partners will be channelled.