Kenya Red Cross Society, through funding from the Office of U.S Foreign Disaster Assistance is implementing a recovery project that seeks to enhance the resilience of communities in Taita Taveta County. This project aims to improve communities’ capacities, the county government and KRCS in preparing and responding to disaster risks on emergence response.
A key component of the project is to strengthen county and community disaster management systems through establishing policies and legislation that anticipate disasters to enhance preparedness and allocate resources for preparedness and response.
Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in collaboration with the County Government of Taita-Taveta through the department of Special Programmes and Service Delivery conducted a five-day workshop at Green Park Hotel in Taveta Sub-County and developed County Early Warning Early Action Protocols and Multi-Hazard contingency planning. The Early Action Protocols will feed into the Multi-Hazard Contingency plan meant to strengthen County preparedness, allocate resources and minimize humanitarian, economic and environmental consequences.
The workshop was officially opened by Voi Deputy County Commissioner Daniel Nduti, County Chief Officer Special Programmes, and SDU Eng. Mwakitele Mwalandi brought together different stakeholders from the county department of Health, Education, Finance, Water, Environment, Climate Change, Public Works, Livestock and Agriculture, National Drought Management Authority, and Kenya Meteorological Department, among others
The Stakeholders developed the Early Action sectoral, Early Action Protocols based on October, November and December 2022 rainfall forecast by the Kenya Meteorological Department KMD and the National Drought Management Authority NDMA bulletin. Building and promoting group discussions and presentations at the end resulted in understanding risk knowledge to better manage disaster risk in the county and national levels.
The participants also focused on developing scenario building, an essential component of the contingency plan involving mapping hotspots, indicating elements at risk and early warning triggers for five common hazards in Taita Taveta.
Lastly, the participants developed the implementation plans and budgets highlighting specific interventions pre, during and post common hazards in the county, namely drought, floods, human-wildlife conflicts, drugs and substance abuse, Livestock and human diseases. The Stakeholders in their respective sectors were mainly from the Health and Nutrition, Water, Agriculture, Livestock, and Peace, Coordination and Security-developed response strategies and interventions towards the county’s hazards.
“I appreciate the collaboration and all the work we have been able to do with various Disaster Risk Management DRM county stakeholders. With all the right interventions, we can increase our capacities to deal with various hazards,” said Ms. Teresa Wainaina (Disaster Risk Reduction officer)
Zachary Misiani, a Climate Research officer at International Center for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA), echoed Teresa’s sentiments, adding that their presence in the county is part of the greater efforts in supporting disaster preparedness through implementing recovery projects that focus on embedding a culture of preparedness through early action. “County stakeholder engagement is important because it enables one to understand a multi-agency approach in handling different forms of hazards. To respond better, there is a need to have contingency plans and proper disaster communication structures, information sharing platforms and trained quick response of communities to early warning messages,” Misiani said.
Afterward, Sub-County Administrator Mwatate Ruel Mwawaswho stood in for County Chief officer Special Programmes and SDU, said that the simulation exercise and plans will steer the County one step ahead and he promised to lead in mobilizing the county government to implement the plan for better livelihood of the people.