The Israeli government will send a team of experts to train Kenya on emergency rescue and disaster management by the end of this year, a senior official disclosed here Friday.
Outgoing Israel Ambassador to Kenya, Emanuel Seri, said the training arrangement is a follow up of President Mwai Kibaki's request when he met with the Israeli rescue team who participated in rescue mission in a collapsed building which was under construction in Nairobi last year.
The ambassador made the remarks when he bade farewell to Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori in Nairobi. Seri said that his country would continue to offer emergency assistance whenever they are called upon.
"Israel was honored to be among development partners who participated in the 2004 drought relief interventions," Seri said according to a statement from the vice president office.
The outgoing ambassador also said his government has received several master plans and proposals from leading Israeli companies that intend to provide training for Kenyans locally on water conservation and irrigation agriculture.
He said his country valued the existing bilateral ties between Kenya and Israel, saying such collaborations were for the common good of the people of the two countries.
The ambassador said the frequent exchanges of visits by officials of the two countries have further cemented the partnership in various fields including trade and agriculture.
Awori, on his part, stressed the need to urgently formulate appropriate policies to beef up disaster preparedness and management.
Awori observed that more training for relevant departments and other institutions concerned with emergencies alongside sensitization of the public on disaster response would minimize the number of casualties and destruction to property.
"Going by the recent city explosion,though there was a commendable rescue response with only one death and few casualties, there is still room for improvement, particularly in the role of the public in such emergencies," he noted.
Awori described the relationship between Kenya and Israel as cordial.He particularly thanked the Israel government for its assistance in the improvement of agricultural production in arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya.
Awori expressed gratitude from the Kenyan people to Israel for their swift rescue operations whenever they are called upon to assist during emergencies.