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MMUST Picked to Host the 8th National Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology has been picked to host the two-day 8th National Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022. The event, which was officially opened by the Governor of Kakamega County, H.E FCPA Fernandes Barasa, and attended by the MMUST Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo, kicked off today, 11th October, 2022 and will go up to tomorrow, 12th October, 2022 at the University Multipurpose Hall (MPH).

The highlight of the symposium will be the celebration of the 7th International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR), slated to take place on Thursday, 13th October, 2022 at the Bukhungu Stadium grounds, Kakamega County. The theme of the event is ‘Early Warning and Early Action for All.’

“Kakamega County is privileged to be the host of this year’s twin events-the 8th National Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022 as well as the 7th International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. As a County, we are ready and prepared to collaborate with the international agencies, the National Government and other stakeholders to tackle existing and future disasters. Welcome to Kakamega County, the green jewel!” said H.E FCPA Fernandes Barasa.

The Governor also pointed out that climate change has affected the agricultural sector of the County and urged the residents of Kakamega to partner with the County and institutions such as MMUST to ensure that they conserve the environment, especially the Kakamega Tropical Rain Forest.

 The Vice Chancellor gives his remarks2

The Vice Chancellor gives his remarks at the 8th National Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Prof. Shibairo revealed that MMUST has the School of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, earmarked for training various professionals in disaster management. “It is an honour for MMUST to host both the symposium and the IDDRR Day. Let us always be prepared to handle disasters. MMUST has the expertise and is committed to train manpower to address disasters,” stated the Vice Chancellor.

The event has been organized by several partners including; MMUST’s School of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (SDMHA), the Kenya National Government, County Government of Kakamega, International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk (UNDRR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Vision, Kenya Red Cross, the United Nations Women, Kenya4Resilience and St. John Ambulance.

 The Vice Chancellor gives his remarks3

The Kakamega County Governor and the MMUST Vice Chancellor inspect the St. John Ambulance stand at the symposium.

Some of the key presentations that marked the first day of the symposium were; ‘Hazards and Disaster Risk Management Status in Kakamega County,’ presented by the County Director, Disaster Management, Ms. Abigael Chepkorir; ‘Progress and Achievement in Sendai Framework Implementation in Kenya,’ presented by the Director, National Disaster Operations Center (NDOC), Mr. Charles Owino; ‘Experiences and Good Practices in Early Warning for Early Action,’ presented by the Kenya Red Cross and ‘Status of Weather and Climate in Kenya: The New Normal,’ presented by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD).’

To spice up the presentations, there was a roundtable discussion followed by an engaging panel discussion with participants on the ‘Value of Early Warning for Early Action; Investing in Early Warning, Anticipatory Action and Effective Early Warning Communication.’

The selection of MMUST to host an event of this magnitude is evidence that the University has gained national and global recognition in the area of disaster risk reduction. These are gigantic steps for MMUST as it partners with international entities to tackle the threat of manmade and natural disasters.

By Dr. Lydia Anyonje and Mary Wangari Wambugu

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