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Crisis looms as hundreds of displaced families spend night in the cold

Hundreds of families Wednesday spent the night in the cold after Tana River burst its bank following spillage of the Kindaruma dam.
KenGen had earlier warned residents along the river to move to safer grounds in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The most affected areas are Windsor and Bula Sheikh in Garissa town. Bakuyu, Ziwani and Mororo in Tana River County where houses were marooned overnight as water levels rose to crisis level.

Flooded streets of Garissa town

Irrigation farmers are also hard hit as their farms have also been submerged in flood waters. When KNA visited some of most affected areas Thursday, desperate families could be seen trying to salvage their belongings to safer ground.

Along the Gaissa-Madogo road, flood victims lined up the road with their belongings pondering their next move. This is one of the worst floods ever recorded in Garissa and the neighbouring Tana River after the infamous El-Nino floods of 1997.
“Since the El-Nino floods of 1997 we have had several floods since then but I have never seen such magnitude of floods again,” Said Abdi Mohamed who was a victim during the El-Nino rains.

Ruth Wanja a resident of Windsor Estate narrated how she had incurred house hold losses following the floods.
“All my household items have been submerged in water. The waters came with a lot of speed and force overnight giving me no room to salvage anything,” said Ruth a mother of five.

Residents now fear an outbreak of water borne diseases and attacks by crocodiles and snakes that swim in the nearby River Tana.
On Wednesday, Garissa County Commissioner Joshua Chepcheing urged resident along Tana river and flood prone areas to move to safer grounds.

The energy company has since released the excess waters in Kamburu, Gitaru, Kindaruma and Kiambere dams which had risen above their normal levels.

By Jacob Songok

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