China's prompt and well-coordinated response to the cruise ship tragedy on June 1st in Yangtze River offers vital lessons to developing countries that are prone to man- made and natural disasters.[Special coverage]
This is believed by Kenyan experts from diverse fields speaking to Xinhua about the intensive rescue efforts after the shipwreck.
Media reports on Monday indicated that the tragedy has so far claimed 434 lives. 14 people were rescued while 8 were missing.
Kenyan China watchers lauded the rescue efforts at the cruise liner, terming them well-coordinated, adding that no country is immune to tragedies and what matters is strategic response to minimize fatalities.
"What is impressive is the abrupt response from Chinese authorities on the disaster. The Chinese government was quick to mobilize personnel and infrastructure to boost rescue efforts," Martin Nguru, a diplomacy scholar at the University of Nairobi told Xinhua in an interview on Saturday.
Nguru noted the international community rose above ideological differences to sympathize with China after the tragedy, adding that developing countries in particular would draw lessons from the tragedy and the rescue operation that was surgical.
"The ongoing rescue efforts at the cruise liner offers good lessons to developing countries that have a fair share of natural and man-made disasters," said Nguru.
He said countries in the Global South have grappled with environmental and man-made disasters, hence the need for them to devise innovative response mechanisms.
Kenya-based Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Secretary-General Mithika Mwenda stressed that global warming has worsened the intensity of natural disasters.
"The tragedy in China's Yangtze River reminds us that nobody is immune from the fury of mother nature. Every state has a duty to have a standby, modern and efficient rescue infrastructure whenever disasters strike," Mwenda said.
He noted that China has suffered a string of natural disasters like earthquakes, droughts and floods, but its quick response to them minimized their impact on civilians. "As an environmentalist, I am impressed by China's effective safeguard measures to limit the negative impact of natural disasters on civilian population," Mwenda added.
Kenyan media scholars hailed the unfettered access to information in the wake of cruise ship tragedy.
"This time round, information flow on the tragedy was not only efficient but unrestricted. So far, China has kept the world informed about the tragedy and the rescue efforts on real time basis," said Steve Ndegwa, a Kenyan media analyst.
He noted the cruise liner disaster was unexpected yet the Chinese authorities did not fail victims and their families thanks to prompt response.
Yangtze is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world which plays a significant role in China's agriculture, urbanization and economic development.