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Government scales up measures to address floods havoc

The Government has scaled up measures to mitigate disaster caused by the ongoing enhanced rains and floods, even as the meteorological department warned that heavy rainfall will continue through to the weekend.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Friday said the government has made several interventions such as financial allocation of Ksh4 billion for immediate response to the rains havoc.
Other interventions, he said, include resettlement of displaced families, restoration of bridges washed away by the raging waters, repair of critical infrastructure, activation of the National Disaster Response Centre and distribution of food, non-food and pharmaceutical items to the affected families.
“We are in discussions with the National Treasury and we are trying to put up Ksh4 billion as emergency fund. The National Youth Service will be facilitated to resettle the displaced families, unblock drainages and waterways and handle the spilling dams. The National Disaster Response Centre will be 24 hours open to monitor the situation in the country,” said the Deputy President.
Speaking during a meeting on review of emergency response actions relating to the ongoing floods situation in Kenya at his official residence in Karen, the Deputy President also asked County Governments to realign their budgets to mitigate the effects of ongoing rains.
Development partners, Kenya Private Sector Association, Cabinet Secretaries, government officials, Media Owners Association and Council of Governors representatives Abdullswamad Nasir (Mombasa Governor) and Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi Governor) among other stakeholders were present.
Gachagua stated that the National and County Governments will work together in mitigating effects of the rains.
He said since the onset of the current heavy rainfall, 70 people have lost their lives, 22 injured and that eight people are missing.
He added that 131,179 people have been affected by the rains and that contingency plans have been developed to enhance the coordination of the emergency response.
The Deputy President further asked Kenyans to stop daring nature and be responsible during the rainy season.
“We appeal to Kenyans to be responsible for their own lives and safety. Do not dare nature. In some instances, we have seen people being adventurous and daring to cross swollen rivers. We urge Kenyans to exercise caution and be responsible for their own lives. They must know they carry the aspirations of their families,” he said.
To those living in areas prone to landslides and near Kiambere Water Dam, the Deputy President asked them to relocate to safer grounds.
He further thanked the humanitarian agencies and the Media Owners Association over their contribution in the disaster response.
“We thank the development partners for coming in and supporting the government’s efforts. Your response has been effective and we urge you to continue. We are grateful of the assistance offered by the Media Owners Association, which airtime worth Ksh100 million to sensitize Kenyans on the rainfall situation,” he stated.
In addition, the Deputy President asked the organizations  channeling food and non-food items to households affected by the rains to prioritise Nairobi county since it has suffered the brunt of the disaster.
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