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Gov’t sets up flood emergency multiagency Command Centre

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The government has established a Command Center for Flood Emergency Response and communication at the National Disaster Operations Center in Nyayo House.

The Command Center will document and report all flood disaster information from across the country during the ongoing heavy rains.

The team comprising of 11 Ministries and their relevant Agencies, adopting a Whole of Government Approach, will provide early warning information, flood alerts, flood preparedness, safety and emergency response information to stakeholders and the public.

According to Internal Security Principal Secretary, Raymond Omollo, the Council of Governors as well as the Red Cross Society have similarly been sanctioned to augment response and interventions being implemented.

“Saving lives and reducing the impact of the El Nino rains through early warning and disaster monitoring remains the Government’s top priority and having every actor and stakeholder working in sync is the surest way of mitigating and responding to the emergency,” said Omollo.

The team has also been tasked to mobilize resources and combine capacities at all levels of Government and liaise with agencies in National and County governments to better respond to emergencies.

Currently, four counties including Tana River, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera have been identified as the worst hit while 120 people have unfortunately lost their lives.

Ten counties including Isiolo, Samburu, Kwale, Homabay, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Meru and Kisumu are on high alert.

Additionally, over 89,000 households have been displaced and being hosted in 112 camps established in the affected Counties.

“The Government has distributed food, water and non-food items to a number of counties including Busia, Marsabit, Isiolo, Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Tana River, Lamu, Kitui and Mombasa Counties,” the PS said.

With numerous road infrastructure affected by the floods such as the Garissa – Wajir road and the Maralal – Baragoi -North Horr which remain impassable, the multi-agency team advised Kenyans not to cross flooded rivers and to gather flood alert information prior to traveling in areas prone to flooding.

The Kotulo – Elwak road has been re-opened and 36 trucks that were stuck for the last three weeks have now started moving to and from Wajir and Mandera.

“All major dams are being monitored but Kiambere has a meter remaining to overflow, we call on those downstream to move to higher ground even as government enhances power generation to mitigate the challenge,” said Omollo.

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