Kisumu, Kenya, to join worldwide campaign to reduce urban risks
Date: 7 Dec 2010
Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Africa (UNISDR AF)
Kisumu, Kenya – Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya and the leading communication and trading centre for countries of the Great Lakes Region including Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, will join the UNISDR-led campaign “Making Cities Resilient -- My city is getting ready!” at a ceremony on 8 December, adding to the list of over 150 other municipalities worldwide.
Like many cities in Africa, Kisumu is vulnerable to risks brought by climate change, which coupled with rapid urban growth will pose mounting challenges for the local government as it seeks to protect citizens from disaster.
“Investing in disaster management is one of the Kisumu Municipal Council’s top priorities as the city expands and develops,” said Mayor Samuel Okello, telling UNISDR that the flood-prone city has become increasingly affected by heavy rain. The city is also vulnerable to man-made hazards, since it harbours a petroleum container depot -- which carries the risk of potential fires and spillage.
As a member of the campaign, Kisumu commits to a checklist of ten essential actions that call for improved urban planning, infrastructure and building safety. Dubbed the “Ten Essentials”, the checklist also calls on cities to reinforce drainage systems to reduce flood, storm and health threats, promotes the installation of early warning systems and public preparedness drills, and suggests measures to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change.
“A city’s commitment to resilience can bring many benefits including, innovation to save lives and livelihood through proper planning and preparedness, sustainable urbanization with broad based participation, and social, environmental and economic gains,” said Pedro Basabe, Head of the UNISDR Regional Office for Africa.
Kisumu will be the second city in Kenya to sign on to the campaign following the capital city, Nairobi. The signing ceremony will take place at a disaster risk reduction/climate change adaptation conference organized by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre in Collaboration (ICPAC) on 8 December at the Imperial Hotel, Kisumu.
For more information about UNISDR and the campaign, contact:
Sarah Wakasa, UNISDR Africa: Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +254 20 762 1569