Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has taken a proactive stance in safeguarding Kenya against the impending El Niño rains by announcing the convening of the National Emergency Response Committee.

The committee will establish strategies to mitigate possible devastation that may be caused by the anticipated heavy rain season.

In a statement he made on Monday evening Gachagua emphasized the need for cross-sector collaboration to prepare for potential disasters resulting from the anticipated heavy rainfall.

"Next week I will be convening the National Emergency Response Committee that I head with all government agencies, development partners, the Red Cross, international organisations and all other stakeholders to discuss our preparedness for the expected El Nino rains," Gachagua stated.

He made the remarks while speaking at a gala dinner in Nairobi organised by the Kenya Red Cross during the 10th International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society Pan African Conference Conference.

The DP called for cross-sector collaboration in preparing for any disaster that may be caused by the heavy rains.

Gachagua represented President William Ruto at the event, celebrating over 150 years of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society's experience.

The Kenya Meteorological Department issued a weather forecast warning, indicating that heavy rains are expected from September 2023 to January 2024. 

"Predictions indicate that we may experience El Nino rains between September and January 2024. We invite you to work with us on putting measures to mitigate possible tragedies," the Deputy President indicated.

Several counties have already taken proactive measures to ensure disaster preparedness in light of the forthcoming rains.

Gachagua added that the government is working on a public-private partnership in building water harvesting structures, including dams across the country.

This, he said, will help the government to take advantage of such large amounts of water for food production.

Regions projected to be significantly affected by the El Nino rains include Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Kericho, Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia, Trans Nzoia, Vihiga, Laikipia, Nakuru, and Narok.

Gachagua expressed his gratitude towards the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society for their significant impact on millions of lives over the years.

He also revealed the government's intention to enhance its partnership with the Red Cross Society, focusing on strengthening the capacity of state agencies such as the National Disaster Management Authority. 

"I wish to thank the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society for the millions of lives they have touched over the years. We look forward to working closely in building sustainable societies beyond disasters," said the Deputy President.

Furthermore, Gachagua announced the government's intention to strengthen its partnership with the Red Cross Society, particularly in enhancing the capacity of state agencies like the National Disaster Management Authority. 

This move aims to improve efficiency and effectiveness for better disaster response.

The Government's collaborative efforts with various stakeholders and proactive measures are expected to mitigate the impact of these heavy rains on vulnerable communities.