Kericho County Assembly Speaker Dominic Rono has recalled MCAs from recess to a special sitting to debate the poor response to disaster incidents that have befallen the county recently.
Following a series of fire outbreaks in Kericho which local authorities failed to react to in time, the Speaker hopes MCAs will come up with a better policy to change the trend.
Recently, Kericho County acquired a Sh60 million firefighting truck.
Last weekend, the latest fire incident that hit a residential bloc at Kwa Michael estate, just two kilometres from Kericho town, left several 10 households homeless.
FIRE ENGINE BROKE DOWN
The MCAs are concerned that the multimillion truck, whose engine broke down, has been wasting away for months at a local garage after the county failed to pay for its repair.
“The county assembly is on recess till September 11, 2018, but as a responsive assembly, I have convened a special sitting this Wednesday to discuss and take necessary action on emergency issues. The sessions are open to the members of the public,” said the Speaker in a statement.
The MCAs said they have done their part by passing relevant disaster management laws but are worried by the failure of the executive to implement them.
Among other things, the laws seek to ensure timely response and effective management of fire incidences so as to avoid or minimise losses.
Kapkugerwet MCA Collins Biegon and his Kapsoit counterpart Paul Chirchir accused the county department in charge of disaster management of sleeping on their job.
“We already passed a motion, but has the department trained our people on fire safety measures? Has it built a fire station? Has it bought a proper, efficient fire engine? Has it responded to a single fire incident and actually put out the fire? The answers to all these are no. The CEC in charge and his team are sleeping on their job,” said Mr Biegon.
On his part, Mr Chirchir said, “We allocated Sh15 million in 2017/2018 financial year for purchase of firefighting equipment and there are no signs of any (equipment) purchased. To date, the total amount allocated for firefighting is Sh65, Sh950,000 yet they seem to have spent more than allocated. We want accountability.”
The weekend fire occurred barely a month after a carpentry workshop located near the Kenya Industrial Estates was gutted and came several weeks after another fire destroyed a section of the men’s hostels at the Kabianga University.
Residents have been relying on the goodwill of James Finlay Tea Company to put out fires that occur within the county.