The Government has formed a multi-agency team to develop various measures to mitigate the impact of the rising water level in lakes, dams’ rivers in the Rif Valley.
Addressing a workshop in Naivasha, Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo who is also the Chairman of the team, urged the technical officers to come up with solutions that seek to address the felt needs of the affected communities. He reiterated the government’s commitment to support displaced families and rehabilitate development infrastructure destructed by the floods.
The PS challenged scientists involved in the exercise to explain to the public why the water levels were rising and to develop strategies that seek to reduce the would-be impact of the floods. He said it was imperative that concerted efforts are employed immediately to alleviate the sufferings of thousands of families displaced by the floods. These strategies should also provide for the rehabilitation of development infrastructure such as roads, schools as well as water and sanitation systems.
Dr. Kiptoo lauded efforts by county governments of Nakuru and Baringo for the prompt support to the victims of the rising waters. The county governments provided alternative shelter to the displaced persons and humanitarian support in terms of food and non-food items. The PS commended development partners for identifying with the plight of the displaced persons and providing humanitarian aid to the affected families. Development partners on board include UNDP, USAID, UNICEF and Red Cross.
Addressing the same workshop, the Wildlife PS Professor Fred Segor noted that the rising waters had also increased human-wildlife conflict. So far, Naivasha area had reported eight people killed and 11 injured by hippopotamus. He cautioned communities to be wary of wildlife that were moving closer to the human settlement due to loss of their natural habitat. PS Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, Mr Micah Powon, said efforts were in place for a comprehensive humanitarian support to affected communities that would include cash-transfers and resettlement of the displaced. He said the Ministry of Devolution and its disaster management agencies, form part of the multi-agency team to address the impact of the rising water levels.
Speaking at the same function Nakuru Governor H.E Lee Kinyanjui underscored the need for psycho-social support for the displaced persons following the loss of shelter and livelihoods. The UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Walid Badawi pledged both financial and technical support to minimize the impact of the rising water levels. He said partners were willing to support efforts by the government towards improving livelihoods of the displaced persons.
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