The County Government of Homa Bay has launched an Inter-Agency El Nino Preparedness Plan to combat and mitigate the effects of the forecasted heavy rains on the public.
The launch of this response plan comes after deliberations on the immense challenges that this weather phenomenon brings to the community.
Governor Gladys Wanga, who spoke Friday during the launch of the document accompanied by both state and non-state actors, reiterated that it is of the utmost importance that the county is well prepared to mitigate the impact of El Nino on its people.
“The previous occurrence of El Nino resulted in drought and floods that significantly increased humanitarian needs in various parts of the country and generally strained resources,” she noted.
She said that the county has formulated an inter-agency and broad multi-sectoral approach after consultations with the national government to show their dedication to the safety and well-being of the people.
She said their top priority was to safeguard citizens and minimize any resultant damage caused by El Nino.
In its response plan, the county has mapped high- and low-risk areas and ascertained the number of households likely to be affected by El Nino rains in Homa Bay.
These areas include Rachuonyo North, which encompasses Kobuya, Osodo, Kendu Old Town, Simbi, and Ngeta areas, and areas in Suba North such as Gilambwe, Ogando, Amato, and Mfangano, among others.
In Homa Bay, areas around Soko Mjinga, Sofia, Makongeni, and Shauri Yako were mapped together with areas in Rangwe, Sindo, Suba South, parts of Ndhiwa sub-county, and informal settlements in Oyugis.
The governor anticipated that the response plan would ensure all sub-counties and wards had a well-prepared plan of action during the heavy rains.
“The plan is sector-based and detailed, consisting of actions to be taken pre-flooding, during, and post-El Nino,” adding that it is a communication plan that has been formulated by communication teams to ensure the public is constantly updated on whatever is happening before, during, and after.
Monitoring and evaluation of interventions have been highlighted in the document, and Wanga said it was to ensure that in case of any eventuality, the affected population will be supported through laid-down post-El Nino recovery measures.
She urged residents to remain vigilant and updated on weather conditions, adding, “It’s imperative that you adhere to the instructions and warnings issued by relevant authorities to ensure your safety.”
“I wish to underscore the importance of community preparedness in this response. We must come together and identify vulnerable areas, taking the necessary steps to safeguard our homes and property, including clearing drainage systems,” Wanga urged.