State-Of-The-Art Emergency Operations Centre Marks Milestone For Disaster Response In Taita Taveta County

In a momentous occasion that marked a commitment to bolstering disaster preparedness and response capabilities, Taita Taveta County Governor Andrew Mwadime, in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) Governor Geoffrey Korir, spearheaded the groundbreaking ceremony for the much-anticipated Emergency Operations Centre at Vindo Show Ground, Voi. With an investment totaling to Sh 22 million, the inauguration signaled the new dawn of a pivotal facility designed to serve as the branch headquarters for managing diverse emergencies across the county. Governor Mwadime emphasized the critical role the center would play in mitigating disasters swiftly, stating that the facility would utilize modern technology for rapid response, seamless communication, and real-time data analysis. During his address at the ceremony on Saturday, Mwadime expressed profound gratitude to the Kenya Red Cross Society for their steadfast support, spanning assistance during floods, drought-induced hunger, and various emergencie s witnessed across the county. 'I want to sincerely thank the Kenya Red Cross Society for collaborating with my administration to implement this project aimed at enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response. We have donated land to put up this centre because Taita Taveta county is hard-hit by emergency incidents dominated by road accidents, fire, floods, drought, and human-wildlife conflicts,' Said Mwadime. He emphasized the significance of the center in safeguarding lives within the region, given the prevalence of emergencies such as road accidents, fires, floods, droughts, and human-wildlife conflicts. KRCS Governor Geoffrey Korir echoed Governor Mwadime's sentiments, highlighting the centre's broader impact beyond Taita Taveta County, noting that the facility will be extending its services to the entire Coast and Eastern Regions. He emphasized the crucial role the centre would play in addressing road accident-related emergencies along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway. 'This is where disaster response teams, emergency medical teams, Red Cross responders, Kenya Wildlife Service, and other relevant agencies will be dispatched from,' Said Korir. Further, Korir reiterated the Kenya Red Cross Society's unwavering commitment to collaborating with the county government to ensure the prosperity and well-being of the residents. 'We have lost many people because the first few minutes of every accident are very critical. This is why we are coming up with such facilities close to the people so that in case of an emergency, we respond within the shortest time possible to save lives,' he added. He lauded the partnership with the county government and advocated for the expansion of emergency facilities, emphasizing the urgent need for additional land to enhance response capabilities, especially along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway. 'We thank you for understanding the mandate of KRCS and giving us this land to build our offices here. We will work together for the benefit of the great citizens of Taita Taveta and the region at large,' said Korir. In a bid to further reinforce disaster preparedness and community resilience, Governor Korir outlined ambitious plans to establish a youth center and a training institute, aimed at combating drug abuse and equipping locals with life-saving skills. 'Currently, as the Kenya Red Cross Society we are bringing our training institutes to the grassroot levels, and if you can allow me, this will be the first county I'm pushing from the national office to get a training institute only if you agree with our ideas,' he added. He also proposed the construction of an innovation center, with a vision to foster economic growth and revenue generation for the county. Further, Korir noted that there is need to have sufficient space noting that the facility will need a landing space for helicopters which will facilitate evacuation of people who need specialized care during emergencies. As the region braces itself for unforeseen challenges, the inauguration of the emergency operations centr e stands as a testament to proactive governance, collaborative partnerships, and a shared vision of resilience and prosperity for Taita Taveta County and beyond. Source: Kenya News Agency