NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 8 – Kenyans residing in flood and mudslide prone areas may be relocated to safer grounds during the El Nino rains.
Speaking after chairing a Cabinet committee on disaster preparedness with representation from the Council of Governors, Deputy President William Ruto said specific counties which are usually worst hit during the rainy season would be alerted in time to ensure the residents are well aware.
“There may be a necessity to move citizens from their areas of residence to safer grounds and the government will work with the counties to ensure these people have homes, tents and food for the duration of the rains,” he said.
The DP further called on farmers to harvest their crops ahead of onset of the rains to minimise losses so as to ensure food security while urging those in dry areas to take advantage of the rains to prepare for the planting season.
The Deputy President urged county governments to support farmers in mitigating post harvest losses while also directed the Ministry of Interior to take charge of the intervention measures that will be developed.
He called for cooperation between county and national governments to facilitate a wholesome intervention further alerting both Parliament and the County Assemblies to prepare to adjust their budgets to respond appropriately to any disaster arising from the aftermath of the heavy rains.
“We ask all the legislative arms of government to make the necessary adjustments to their budgets to facilitate the executive to respond in an appropriate manner to the situation the country will be in,” he added.
He said the government through the National Youth Service and military will work with the government to clear drainages so as to divert flood waters away from paths that usually result in unnecessary damage.
“Women who are pregnant, lactating or those who are in situations that could make them vulnerable will be taken care of,” he reiterated.
Those in attendance noted the panic mode that has hit the country following the announcement by the meteorological department saying there was need to constantly make the public aware of what to expect.
“The Ministry of Education is tasked to ensure pupils are safe during this period while that of Infrastructure is asked to make roads passable,” said the DP.
Early this month the Kenya Meteorological Services warned of heavy rains and flooding in the months of October, November and December with the rains expected to run into early January 2016.