On 7th November, the Japanese Ambassador H.E. Toshihisa Takata attended a ceremony in Nairobi to hand over a fleet of heavy vehicles to the Government of Kenya. Displayed at the ceremony were 2 excavators, 2 wheel loaders and 3 boats which were among the heavy vehicles handed over to Hon. Esther Murugi, the Minister of State for Special Programmes.
In Kenya, many people suffer injuries and even die due to natural calamities such as raging floods and collapsing buildings because the government does not have substantial disaster control system in place. With the heavy vehicles granted by Japan, the Ministry of State for Special Programmes (MoSSP) which is in charge of countermeasures for disaster prevention can effectively operate removal of debris, reconstruction of the roads and rescue of people from floods.
According to experts, said H.E. Takata in his remarks at the ceremony, one Kenyan shilling of investment in disaster reduction can save seven Kenyan shillings of damage. In other words, disaster reduction is an investment with seven-fold returns. The Ambassador stated that proper measures were necessary for disaster prevention and confirmed that the Government of Japan had a role to assist Kenya in handling situations brought about by natural phenomena. In response to the Ambassador’s remarks, Hon. Murugi welcomed the Government of Japan’s efforts to assist Kenya and appreciated the good gesture saying that the issue of saving costs through disaster prevention was in line with the ministry’s motto.