Leaders call for joint disaster preparedness

Leaders in Nakuru County want the regional government and the Lake Nakuru National Park to invest in a joint efficient disaster management program at the lake in a bid to avert crises occasioned by accidents at the facility.

This comes in the wake of reports that five people are still trapped in a light air craft that crash-landed in Lake Nakuru minutes after take-off from a Nakuru hotel early on Saturday morning.

The five were alleged to be part of a campaign team constituted by the Nakuru County Senator, Susan Kihika, to help spear head President Uhuru Kenyattas campaign and were allegedly headed to Narok County to the campaigns.

The Nakuru County Women Representative, Liza Chelule said lack of a properly coordinated disaster management plan the Lake Nakuru has compounded what was set up as a rescue mission.

The Member of Parliament blamed the County Government and the wildlife facility for being ill prepared for such eventualities at the Lake where she said the latter is the sole beneficiary.

Chelule who confirmed that there was no politician in the ill-fated chopper, wants the Central Government, County Government of Nakuru and Lake Nakuru National park to establish modalities for creation of a robust disaster management framework which she noted will ensure safety at the lake that receives hundreds of millions shillings annually in wildlife revenue.

She also called on the regions County Assembly to draft laws that will compel the Countys executive to set aside adequate funds for a disaster management kitty that will help residents acquire efficient equipment and train enough personnel to handle disasters when they occur in the countys four lakes to avert death.

The member of parliament noted with concern that the rescue team from Nairobi nearly 200 kilometers away had to source motorized boats and divers from Lake Naivasha 50 kilometers away to rescue the aircrafts occupants who had been trapped for over five hours.

Had the boats and divers been handy at the time of the accident, a crisis would have been forestalled, she said.

The Majority Leader at the Nakuru County Assembly, Stanley Karanja, said he will move a motion in the Assembly to revise the existing policy on disaster management with a view of fully institutionalizing disaster management in the County for safer lakes in the region.

The County has four lakes namely: Lake Nakuru, Elementaita, Naivasha and Solai.

The National Disaster Management Unit Deputy Director, Pius Masai, says the team, alongside the Kenya Navy and other humanitarian agencies is combing the lake for bodies of the copters occupants .

Maasai said more divers are expected to be flown in from Mombasa to support the rescue operation that now remains arduous.

Source: Kenya News Agency