•Dubbed El Nino Inter-Agency Preparedness Plan 2023 – 2024, the programme contains activities each relevant department will undertake to mitigate eventualities caused by rains.
•Wanga said they had identified parts of the county which are prone to dangerous floods.
Homa Bay government has launched a program to respond to emergencies in the county.
This comes as the Kenya metrological department forecasts El Nino rains.
Dubbed El Nino Inter-Agency Preparedness Plan 2023 – 2024, the programme contains activities that each relevant department will undertake to mitigate eventualities caused by rains.
Speaking during the launch on Friday, Governor Gladys Wanga said her administration had partnered with the National government and other agencies such as Red Cross to respond to possible adverse effects of El Nino rains.
"We want to be proactive in order to prevent deaths, injuries and destruction of property which are expected to be caused by El Nino," she said.
Each of the county’s eleven departments is expected to put relevant measures to prevent adversity.
The environment and water department for instance will focus on waste management to prevent blockage of drainage systems while the Fisheries department is expected to put rescue boats in place to salvage fishermen and cage fish farmers in Lake Victoria during emergencies orchestrated by the rains.
The health department on its end will ensure drugs are available in health facilities all the time. This will enhance efficiency in handling various diseases.
“The communication department will ensure coordination for the implementation of the strategies appropriately. We want timely conveyance of messages to residents in case of an emergency,” Wanga said.
Going further, Wanga revealed that her administration had identified parts of the county that are prone to dangerous floods. Such areas include Kobala, Osodo and Kobuya in Karachuonyo constituency.
Nyarut in Rangwe and some parts of Ndhiwa, Mbita, Suba and Homa Bay Town constituencies have also been identified.
Wanga explained that part of the plan includes sensitizing residents of the risky low ground to move to higher ground.
“El Nino rains come as a result of climate change. My administration is putting measures in place to enhance climate change resilience and adaptation,” she said.
Deputy Governor Oyugi Magwanga, Homa Bay county assembly speaker Julius Gaya, majority leader Richard Ogindo and Assistant County Commissioner Henry Kereya and other officials attended the launch.
In addition, the Governor has called on stakeholders to partner with the county to enhance the success of the initiative.
“This plan will also help us in mobilizing resources which can help us achieve the desired objectives. The plan will continue to be subjected to public participation for adjustment to enable it meet the needs of the people effectively,” she said.
DG Magwanga urged residents to comply with warnings issued about El Nino.
He argued that much damage caused by rains occurs because people ignore warnings issued by the meteorological department.
“The warning on El Nino is out. Let everybody take any warning about El Nino seriously to enable us avoid its adverse effects,” Magwanga said.
Previous El Nino rains caused damages such as swelling of water level in Lake Victoria, floods, blackout and uprooting trees.