Kenya boosts risk reduction capacity

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Africa
Mohamed Saleh at the closing of the risk workshop in Nairobi, Kenya
Mohamed Saleh at the closing of the risk workshop in Nairobi, Kenya

14 September 2018, Nairobi – The Government of Kenya has initiated a reform programme to improve the country's capacity to reduce disaster risks and mitigate the socioeconomic and fiscal impact of disasters.

The government has taken systematic steps towards a comprehensive approach to holistic risk management and climate change through programmes and strategies that strengthen national response.  In response, the World Bank announced a new project entitled: “The Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing” to the tune of USD200 million.

To contribute, the Government, with support from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the CIMA Research Foundation, held a five-day Risk Modelling Workshop to provide relevant decision-makers with tools and methodologies to make informed choices and to support the development of holistic risk reduction strategies.

The event was attended by 30 eminent senior officials from different line Ministries, including the National Disaster Operation Center, the National Disaster Management Authority and the National Disaster Management Unit. The Kenya Meteorological Department, the Kenyatta national hospital and St. Johns ambulances services, UN system entities and donor agencies also attended.

The CIMA Research Foundation and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction jointly facilitated the workshop as part of the “Building Disaster Resilience to Natural Hazards in Sub-Saharan African Regions, Countries and Communities” programme, financed by the European Union in support of the Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States, which enables African countries to operationalize the African Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and its Plan of Action.

UNISDR and the CIMA Research Foundation developed a multi-hazard probabilistic risk profile for Kenya, with a special focus on floods and drought. CIMA representatives presented the country profile of Kenya as a comprehensive overview of hazards, risk and the exposure of assets, with some consideration of the changing climate trends and the socio-economic context, over the next 50 years.

Mohamoud Saleh, in charge of Reforms at the Ministry of Interior, concluded the workshop by praising the attendees for their active participation. Mr. Saleh highlighted the importance of disaster risk management and confirmed that the topics covered during the workshop would bring a critical resource to enhance risk knowledge and understanding of risk modelling and risk management.

Participants emphasized the need to reinvigorate the National Platform of Kenya for multi-stakeholder engagement and smooth implementation of disaster risk management initiatives in the country.

In line with recommendations made in the Sendai Framework – the global roadmap for disaster risk reduction – a National Disaster Risk Management Policy was adopted by the cabinet in last August and a Disaster Risk Management Bill (2018) is currently under discussion by Parliament.

In his concluding remarks, Amjad Abbashar, Chief of UNISDR Regional Office for Africa, reiterated UNISDR’s continued support to the government of Kenya to streamline the coordination of DRR programmes at all levels.

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