Residents of Budalangi now have a reason to smile after receiving 32 boats worth Sh2.2million from National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) to support the rescue operation during floods.
Speaking during the handing over ceremony, Budalangi MP Raphael Wanjala said the boats were a part of his manifesto to try and address the perennial flood in the area that has left over 40,000 people displaced.
“During the 2020 floods which caused serious destruction to the Budalangi community, we were faced with a challenge of transporting the affected households and their properties to higher ground and rescue centres. I made a promise to construct Rescue Boats that would come in handy during such moments,” said Wanjala.
Twenty-Four (24) Medium Size boats and Eight Small size boats will be distributed to various wetlands all constructed by the Budalangi NG-CDF for the 2020-2021 Financial Year.
The MP noted that Budalangi still faces challenges during the rainy season as logistical mobilisation during flooding is an overwhelming task. Last May, the constituency heavily depended on rescue teams from the Kenya Coast Guard Service, Kenya Red Cross Society and other humanitarian organisations in evacuating residents as water from rivers Nzoia and Yala surged.
Bunyala North, Khajula South, Bunyala Central, Bunyala East and Bunyala West were the hardest-hit areas during the 2020 floods.
Beside rescue operations, the boats will play a pivotal role in facilitating residents with daily movements and operations to various islands in Lake Victoria.
Residents won’t be charged transport fees as the operation of the boats will be fully funded by NG-CDF. This will also help to minimise accidents and exploitation by the few boat owners.
By Absalom Namwalo