The El Nino rains are few weeks away and Kenyan authorities are working on disaster relief exercise which is vital in testing civil and military preparedness for disasters in country with an estimated 44 million people.One of the bloke involved in the project who wanted my assistance in sensors software said the exercise aimed ongoing in Kenya is to create synergy and co-operation between national government and the country’s 47 counties based on internationally known disaster management experiences. The exercise, he told your blogger, would also put into practice ways to overcome challenges in any disaster. “One of the challenges is managing the vibrant Kenyan media. For example, during the Budalangi floods in Western Kenya last year, we could not inform the media about what was happening at the time.We disaster managers were biting our nails on how to manage it. We didn’t want the whole country to panic as well,” bloke said in an exchange earlier this week.He said other challenges included mass co-ordination in times of crisis, casualty management, aid distribution and ways to manage assistance to different counties.
“We also have to manage the needs of vulnerable people, including senior citizens and the disabled,” bloke added.While the exercise has been conducted for quite some time, this year’s series stands out as it is the first after 47 county leaders formed the so called “One Country, One Response” initiative to handle the El Nino rains expected to start from mid October to late December.However, the stakeholders in Nairobi are working on having a plan that extends all the way to January.It will also have one of the largest participation.More than 3,000 people are expected to involved, including security forces participants.Kenya want to have co-operation between national and the 47 county governments.The El Nino exercise aims to foster that.According to some sources,the exercise would be split into two parts a table top exercise and a field exercise.The table top deals with theory. The authorities will present the counties involved with different disaster scenarios and ask for their solutions. It has to be done fast and the participants must treat it like it is a real-life situation.The field exercise presents participants with situations mimicking a real disaster.East Africa’s biggest economy want to find the best practices and best solutions, which will be used in disaster management in the country including the El Nino rains period.The exercise,led by the National Disaster Operations Centre, will see simulated land, air and sea rescue missions involving a multi-county approach.