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, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER- IN- CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE ANNUAL INSPECTION PARADE OF ST. JOHN AMBULANCE OF KENYA, SUNDAY 23RDTH JUNE, 2013, K.I.C.C. GROUNDS, NAIROBI Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to join you all on this occasion of the Annual Inspection Parade of St John Ambulance. This occasion provides an opportunity not only for spiritual renewal through prayers but also for interacting with volunteers, and celebrating with those who have received medals, certificates and other awards for meritorious service to the people of Kenya. Since its founding in 1928, St. John Ambulance has continued to play an important role in responding to disasters, both natural and man-made, whenever and wherever they occur in our country. Indeed, through timely action in times of disaster and accidents, St. John Ambulance has been instrumental in saving many lives that would otherwise have been lost. I, therefore, take this early opportunity to thank the St. John Ambulance Association of Kenya for the humanitarian services it has continued to render to Kenyans in distress over the years. Ladies and Gentlemen, As the new patron of St. John Ambulance Association, I pledge to do all I can to ensure that this association gets the support and working environment that will enable it serve Kenyans in distress even better in future. In this regard, I am aware that St. John Ambulance, like many charitable organizations in our country, is dependent on donations from well-wishers and also relies predominantly on volunteer staff. To be able to continue providing humanitarian services, the Association will require more support and volunteers. I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to appeal to Kenyans who are in a position to do so, to make regular donations to St. John Ambulance. In particular, I appeal to our rapidly growing middle class as well as other men and women of means in our country to support our charitable institutions in money or in kind, and where possible by volunteering their time and professional skills. I am encouraged that some of our major corporate organizations have been supporting charitable work around the country. I encourage other corporate organizations as well as individual Kenyans to emulate these organizations by supporting charitable activities as a way of giving back to the society. Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am aware that our country is becoming more vulnerable to disasters. As Government, we are particularly conscious that climate change may increase the frequency of disasters in the country. Between 1980 and 2011, for example, our country suffered 84 significant natural disasters and over half of them were attributed to floods and drought which are linked to climate change. Moreover, we have repeatedly experienced famine especially in the arid and semi-arid parts of our country, again with connection to climate change. This trend cannot be allowed to continue and we must now focus on preventing disasters rather than reacting to them. We have, therefore, adopted the Kenya National Climate Change Response Strategy, and the Kenya Climate Change Action Plan to provide early warning, followed by adaption and mitigation measures. Indeed, we will also mainstream climate change and mitigation measures into the Second Medium Plan of Kenya Vision 2030. This will enable us to better manage climate change related disasters namely famine, drought and floods. Besides climate related disasters, we face a number of other preventable disasters and emergencies like fires, terrorism, collapsed buildings and road accidents. In this category, road traffic and other accidents cost our country 9, 872 lives in 2011. To curb preventable disasters like road accidents, my Government expects the National Police Service to strictly enforce traffic laws and regulations. Many of the lives that we have lost on our roads would have been saved if traffic rules are strictly enforced. I take this opportunity to call upon the Inspector General of Police to investigate and take strict disciplinary action against officers who are compromised and fail to enforce the law on our roads. I remind Kenyans that the transformation of our country envisaged by the Jubilee Government also includes a whole mental shift towards doing things in the right manner and with due regard to the effects of our actions on other people and the country as a whole. In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, I assure Kenyans that my Government is committed to working closely with St. John Ambulance, and other charitable institutions, in serving Kenyans in distress. We have in this regard developed the National Disaster Management Policy. This is a crucial policy instrument that will provide the coordination framework in the management of disasters in the country. It will also strengthen the countrys disaster management system through improvement of response and recovery management at all levels. Finally, I take this opportunity to thank all volunteers, the secretariat, and the St. John Ambulance National Executive Council for the services and relief work that the organization continues to undertake in the country. Thank you and God bless you all.