Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017

The IGAD Region has been prone to disasters with results of human suffering including loss of life, loss of livestock and other means of livelihood, slowed development and caused other economic costs. Until the early 1980’s, drought and other hazards were managed by crisis. The 1984 drought crisis in Ethiopia, Northern Kenya and North Eastern Uganda, is a case in point. This was rated as one of the worst ever recorded droughts in history, because of its duration, geographical spread and severity. The situation has changed rapidly over the last 30 years, with considerable development in early warning systems, contingency planning and financing, emergency preparedness and response as well as recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction to support pastoral communities that are highly venerable to climatic shocks (drought and floods). 

Regional Pastoral Livelihood Resilience Project (RPLRP) funded by World Bank and implemented by IGAD and Member States (Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda) has been supporting development of pastoral risk early warning and response systems in the three countries. One of the expected outputs is to strengthen and harmonize the early warning and response system to disasters in the IGAD regions and build the capacities to turn early warning into action. Two consultants had been hired to assess the current situation regarding early warning and disaster management. Therefore, a one day validation workshop was convened in Naivasha, Kenya in November, 2016 to review the three consultancy reports, namely; 1. Review Early Warning Systems for Pastoral Areas, 2. Assessment of Risk Profiling Approaches and 3. Review Disaster Risk Contingency Planning in Pastoral Areas of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The following overall recommendations were highlighted in the three reports: 

Key Recommendations 

1. Work on harmonization of disaster risk management policy and strategy to facilitate cross-border early warning, risk profiling and disaster contingency planning. It should include issues of risk financing such as livestock insurance and standardized operating procedures and guidelines (IGAD/MS),

2. Identify and consolidate common gaps and challenges as brought out in the consultancy reports (IGAD),

3. Develop a common investment framework including regional and national contingency funds (IGAD/MS), 

4. Develop common monitoring and evaluation across the disaster prone borders (IGAD/MS),

5. Develop a regional capacity building strategy that should accommodate human resource development, institutional capacity, infrastructural development and organizational resource (IGAD/MS),

6. Member states should update their disaster risk management database based on mutually agreed guidelines and standard (MS)