Gov’t establishes a Flood Emergency Multi-Agency Command Centre

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A Command Center for Flood Emergency Response and communication has been set up at the National Disaster Operations Center in Nyayo House, Nairobi.

The centre is meant to document and report all flood disaster information from across the country due to 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, Dr. 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 our priority

“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 Dr. 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.

Most-hit counties

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 are being hosted in 112 camps established in the affected Counties.

The PS said, “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.”

With numerous road infrastructures 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,” he added.

On Saturday, 25th November 2023 following a high-level meeting held by President William Ruto and a subsequent Cabinet Meeting on 27th November 2023, relevant ministries, departments and agencies were convened and resolved to establish a flood multi-agency team, tasked with assessing and managing the current flood situation in the country.

The 11 Ministries include Defence; Interior and National Administration; Roads and Transport; Health; Education; Water, Sanitation and Irrigation; Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development; Agriculture and Livestock Development; Energy and Petroleum; EAC, ASALs and Regional Development; and Labour and Social Protection.

Five disciplined forces have also been co-opted including the Kenya Defense Forces; National Police Service; Kenya Wildlife Service; Kenya Coast Guard Service; and the National Youth Service.

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