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Monday, August 21, 2017

Disaster preparedness and coming long rains

The floods in Eldoret town
The floods in Eldoret town

The Met department has forecast the long rains begin next week.

The drought has lasted so long that the rains will catch millions of Kenyans, from the capital to the breadbasket farming counties and the arid and semi-arid regions, unprepared.

In Nairobi, the drains have most likely not been cleared of their plastic bag pollution, meaning that a 30-minute downpour can still cause nightlong traffic jams and sweep away vehicles and their occupants.

A couple of years ago Kenyans watched TV primetime news in horror as vehicles and passengers were swept away by flash floods in arid and semi-arid Narok.

Disaster preparedness has never been Kenyans’ strong suit. The Met forecast should serve as forewarning and flooding countermeasures need to be put in place everywhere, including in the Kano Plains and Budalang’i.

In urban areas, clear the drains. Elsewhere, take advantage of the final few days of the dry spell to ensure that people and livestock are not injured or killed and property destroyed.

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