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Put El Nino cash to good use, Catholics tell public officials

Thursday, November 30th, 2023 08:57 | By
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Chairman Martin Kivuva at a previous event. PHOTO/Print
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Chairman Martin Kivuva at a previous event. PHOTO/Print

Catholic bishops yesterday called for responsible use of funds allocated to El Nino impact mitigation.
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Chairman Martin Kivuva said transparency and accountability of the funds is critical and must go towards the intended purpose.

“As we have learned from past incidents, disaster relief funds must be directed towards their intended purpose, prioritising the well-being of our citizens over personal interests.

"Far too many times we have witnessed that disasters have become a reason to misdirect relief funds for personal gain. Together, let us place human life at the forefront of our collective efforts to manage and overcome this crisis,” said Kivuva, in a statement

The bishops also urged the Government to respond swiftly by providing robust support to the affected people and communities saying timely intervention is crucial in alleviating the immediate distress caused by El Nino.

Kivuva said Kenyans should exercise caution during this time, even as he urged individuals and groups intending to embark on long trips and festivals to consider postponing their plans.

Heightened vulnerability

“This cautionary measure is essential, especially considering the heightened vulnerability of children and individuals facing adverse conditions. We appeal to Kenyans to take utmost care and not risk crossing any flooded areas. We can always wait a day or two,” he said.

The bishops have also called for cooperation between public and private entities to avert further damage, and specifically called on Government to fully engage its disaster management teams.

Efficient evacuation

“This engagement should encompass the efficient evacuation of affected persons, immediate interventions to address emerging challenges, and proactive assistance to help communities prepare for potential prolonged impacts should El Nino persist,” said Kivuva.

They also want the Government to demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of Kenyans amidst the negative effects of El Nino.

He said the amount of rainfall the country has been experiencing is now becoming a threat as it becomes a full El Nino phenomenon.

This is just one more effect of climate change, which should compel Kenyans to be even more committed to the care of the environment.

“We, the Catholic Bishops in Kenya, express our deep concern over the severe impact the El Nino is having in various parts of Kenya. It is inflicting untold suffering on our sisters and brothers. We have lost several lives in Makueni and Kitui due to floods,” he noted.

According to the bishops, the relentless onslaught of El Nino has heightened the risk of landslides and flash floods, placing communities at increased vulnerability and posing an imminent threat to their well-being.

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