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10 dead as State moves to assist flood victims in Coast

The government has stepped up efforts to assist people affected by heavy rainfall that has claimed the lives of ten people in the Coast region.

The Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha convened a multi-agency meeting graced by PS Kello Harsama for the State Department of ASALs and Regional Development to come up with interventions.

A multi-agency assessment team will be formed for interventions and harmonization of reports and to make coordination work seamless.

 Kwale and Kilifi recorded three deaths each, while Mombasa and Tana River had two deaths each.

In the last three days, Mombasa witnessed heavy downpours affecting 3892 households, resulting in two deaths that occurred Friday.

The situation was exacerbated by poor housing planning, especially in informal settlements, 36 rescue centres have been set up in primary schools across the six sub-counties

A child in Mvita Sub-County died due to flooding and a 17-year-old KCSE candidate was electrocuted in Bangladesh after stepping on an electric wire that was hidden in stormwater.

“Across the region, the most affected county is Tana River County with 5136 households that have been displaced in fact in Tana River I am talking about displacement because we are moving people to higher grounds,” said RC Onyancha adding most of the displaced have found shelters along the roads after the overflow of river Tana.

In Kwale the RC said a search mission is ongoing for two Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) swept by floods at Ramisi bridge after their vehicle was swept away by the heavy waters.

681 households were affected in Kwale, while Kilifi, Lamu, and Taita-Taveta counties had 204, 305, and 89 households respectively.

“The monitoring of what is happening in this region is going on and we are working closely with all stakeholders,” said Onyancha hailing Governors and County Commissioners for coordinating disaster management in the counties.

The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) is going to spearhead the distribution of non-food items to the affected families.

“The World Food Programme (WFP) is going to support the team by trucking, if we have items we need to move from one place to another, the WFP is going to assist us with the trucks. They are also going to assist us with mobile storage facilities,” RC

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) was urged to improve its emergency response to avert the loss of lives.

“They are going to assess the areas and rectify the power lines that are dangling or the poles that are coming down,” she said, adding that they will be supported by Critical Infrastructure Protection to disconnect illegal electricity connections, especially in informal settlements.

KERRA and KENHA KURA were directed to unclog the drainage and find alternative channels for water in road construction areas so as not to cause flooding in the estates. They are also going to assess the infrastructure in all the regions.

Kenya Coast Guard will work with Beach Management Units (BMUs) in case of emergency. National Police services will ensure close surveillance of properties as people are moved to safe areas.

On his part, PS Kello Harsama PS State Department ASALs, and Regional Development assured government support for all victims of the flood to cushion them from the humanitarian crisis.

The State Department will distribute 560 bags of rice, 560 bags of beans, 200 cartons of corn beef, 300 mattresses, 300 blankets, sanitary towels, and kitchen wares to flood victims in Mombasa.

The State Department working in tandem with Non-Governmental Organisations promised to upscale the distribution of food and non-food items. PS Harsama urged the humanitarian organization to suspend bureaucracies in their operations for timely intervention.

“From what we are seeing in this situation we require large-scale humanitarian operations, many residents have been displaced. More than 20,000 people will require relief food, the government is prepared and ready to support those with real food,” said PS Harsama.

Speaking in a different function Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Sharrif Nassir defended his handling of the disaster saying the county’s drainage system did not fail under the county, blaming the flooding on road construction.
By Sadik Hassan


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