Kenya Red Cross
Urban community require effective, strategic skills as well as intangible information and tools, to evaluate and manage risk and, at the same time, increase their overall capacity for effective response in emergency situations such as fire, flood and acts of terrorism among others. Despite being vulnerable to fire incidences, many low income communities are often ill-prepared to deal with such incidences which have led to loss of lives and property. This calls for proper and systematic examination of their level of preparedness and their ability to effectively manage fire disasters. The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in collaboration with partners such as The Kenya Government and communities living in informal settlements has been facilitating numerous projects aimed at raising awareness to the Kenyan public on current disaster related issues such as fire. The Red Cross Society works through networks and with communities with the aim of alleviating and prevention of human suffering and to save lives. Programming within the KRCS is placing emphasis on longer term development interventions and community resilience strengthening through integrated interventions. In Nairobi, an urban disaster risk reduction intervention has been in place since 2008, initially with a focus on fire safety moving towards a more multi hazard approach. Currently this project is being implemented in 7 informal settlements in Nairobi targeting approximately 1,000,000 beneficiaries. Nairobi, the Capital city of Kenya hosts up to 4.5 Million people of which 70% (3 Million) live in the informal settlements. The settlements are characterized by high poverty and unemployment levels coupled with the lack of access to quality housing and infrastructure. The mushrooming informal settlements in the city provide cheap housing to the ever increasing number of residents many from the rural areas. Most informal settlements are located along railway lines, road and riparian reserves in addition to flood and hazard prone areas.