Private Sector Flood Response Initiative

News & Blog

Nairobi, May 2nd, 2024: The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), through its social arm, KEPSA Foundation, has announced a Private Sector Flood Response Initiative to aid the affected communities during the ongoing floods. The initiative is being implemented with KEPSA members, development partners, and the government.
“Our hearts go out to the families who have lost their loved ones and those who have been affected by the ongoing floods in Kenya and across East Africa. This is a difficult period for the country as we grapple with the devastating aftermath for families, livelihoods, and businesses. We hope these concerted efforts will relieve the affected families,” Carole Kariuki, CEO, KEPSA, empathized.
A report by the Red Cross indicates that as of May 2nd, 2024, the recent surge in flooding has claimed 188 lives and affected over 196,296 people, with approximately 33,100 households displaced. The heavy rains have also resulted in the loss of livelihoods, including livestock and cropland, and the destruction of businesses and industries. Damage to schools, water sources, and major roads has also been reported, as well as the high risk of an outbreak of waterborne diseases.
KEPSA recognizes the urgent need for coordinated action to alleviate the suffering and provide critical support to those affected by floods. To this end, KEPSA Foundation has issued a rallying call to mobilize private sector support for donations towards this cause under the Private Sector Flood Response Initiative.
“We are working with our members and, in partnership with government ministries, non-profit organizations, and local communities, on this multifaceted response initiative. We aim to reach about 10,000 households gravely affected and displaced by the floods. We hope this will help address immediate needs and facilitate long-term recovery efforts for vulnerable communities,” said Gloria Ndekei, Executive Director, KEPSA Foundation.
Under the initiative, the KEPSA Foundation has today started distributing food and non-food items to Kibera. On Friday and Saturday, distributions will be done in more of Nairobi’s most affected areas, including Githurai, Mukuru, and Mathare.
This has been made possible with support from the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry, and the Chandaria Foundation, which has provided 14 tracks of 400 bales each of assorted food hampers. Chandaria Foundation has also pledged medical supplies worth KSh. 300,000 for a free medical camp in Mai Mahiu, in partnership with the Asian Foundation.
“The government is also calling upon those in flood-prone zones to evacuate to safe areas. As we respond to the already devastating situation, it is important that we work together to reduce the risk of more loss of life,” reiterated Mr. Linus Ogola, the Deputy Director of Trade at the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry, who was representing Hon. Rebecca Miano, EGH, during the distribution exercise in Kibera Shofco Grounds in Nairobi.
Vincent Ochieng, representing the Chandaria Foundation, said that since the impact of flooding is being felt across the country, it calls for everyone to do their little, big thing to help their neighbors. He added that every small help is a great help, and can make a positive impact wherever we are.
Distribution is being done in partnership with SHOFCO, MaMa Doing Good, the Global Peace Foundation, and Team Pankaj Foundation. The latter has provided 16,300 mattresses, 4,000 relief food hampers, 16,000 cups and plates, 16,000 blankets, and clothing items. Individual businesses are also serving the communities around them.
Mark Laichena, Strategy Officer, SHOFCO, underscored the value of partnerships in dealing with the effects of disasters. “We are here today to witness the value of partnership in dealing with disasters. We are grateful to KEPSA and other partners who have donated foodstuffs to flood victims here in Kibera. As SHOFCO, we are going to use our grassroots network to ensure that deserving people get these donations,” Laichena said.
“Her Excellency the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Mama Rachael Ruto has made a clarion call through MaMa Doing Good, asking Kenyans to help each other in these tough times of flooding! She is also very grateful for the partnership with the private sector through the KEPSA Foundation for their combined effort to ensure Kenyans are helped during this flooding season,” said Samuel Kung’u representing MaMa Doing Good.
In the coming weeks, relief items will be distributed in other areas across different counties. Resources are being raised through cash donations via Paybill 880100, A/C 3380270063, and in-kind donations of food hampers, items, and dignity packs.
“On a normal day, like many in this room and in Kibera, I live from hand-to-mouth. Now, the water has swept all our belongings, and we can hardly put food on the table. I am being accommodated at a church. As a young mother, I am grateful for this support, because at least today, my child won’t sleep hungry,” one of the affected persons and a resident of Kibera pointed out.
“We’re very humbled to walk this journey with you all and to bring shining hope during these devastating times. The private sector, led by KEPSA, is steering this action-led initiative, and we’ll continue supporting the affected communities in all elements,” said Ms. Zuhura Ogada, Chairperson at the Marketing Society of Kenya.
Earlier in the day, KEPSA business leaders gathered in a virtual meeting to chart the different short-term and medium-term strategies, focusing on providing relief support to affected families, sharing information with the public and businesses, supporting the government through policy formulation, partnering with other stakeholders, and any other strategies to mitigate the effects of the floods and future catastrophes.
This effort coincides with the private sector’s call to develop sustainable and localized solutions, such as implementing comprehensive zoning regulations to prevent construction in flood-prone areas, investing in sustainable drainage systems and flood barriers, and promoting afforestation and reforestation to enhance natural water retention and reduce soil erosion, to enhance resilience to climate change.
Additionally, partnerships with the national government, line ministries, and county governments for food distribution must be enhanced. KEPSA remains steadfast in leveraging its resources and expertise to support the government’s relief and recovery efforts in coordination with the National Committee on Disaster Response.
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About the KEPSA Foundation
KEPSA Foundation, the social arm of KEPSA industry is committed to advancing socio-economic transformation agenda. The Foundation focuses on social issues that address the Environment, Vulnerable communities as well as Governance, under the four priority areas, namely: Women & Youth Empowerment, Leadership and Childcare, Climate Change and Sustainability, Governance, and Community Outreach/Partnerships and Networks. The Foundation’s mandate is to provide a private sector platform for social and economic transformation through strengthening the business environment and global competitiveness.