At least 1,000 families who were displaced by floods after River Tana burst it’s banks are yet to receive humanitarian supplies.
The families who sought refuge on higher grounds since the onset of the heavy rains are living in a deplorable state and risk contracting communicable diseases unless urgent measures were placed to address their plight.
At the Garissa’s Farmers Training Centre, at least 200 families from Ziwani village have pitched camp without tents, food and medical supplies afte they were last Sunday issued with water and portable latrines only.
Other camps that are now home to the flood victims include, Hyuga Primary, Young Muslim, Kazuku, NEP Technical Institute.
In neighboring Mororo of Tana River County, the families are camped along the roadside of the Garissa – Nairobi Highway.
Flood victims said that the government has been slow in responding to their plight ‘this time round’.
According to Mohamed Bakariits, the government had adviced the victims to move, to avoid disaster.
“We agreed to move out because it was a government directive. But five days now we are yet to receive any assistance,” Bakari lamented.
“There are officials from NGO’s who have been enlisting the victims since we arrived here. How long does it take to compile the list and allocate the necessary assistance,” he quipped.
He said that the victims urgently need tents, mosquito nets and relief food among other basic requirements.
Bakari said that majority of the victims come from poor family background and they have exhausted the little food and savings.
Mororo Chief Mohamed Abdallah, who also administers Ziwani and Bakuyu that are located on Garissa side of jurisdiction said that the camps have been connected to running water and toilets but was quick to add that the victims urgently required food and non-food items.
Garissa County Commissioner, Meru Mwangi, said that the multiagency emergency team is scrutinizing the list to ensure that only genuine victims receive the assistance hence the delay.
“The government last time hurriedly went in to assist the flood victims only to realize that majority of the beneficiaries were not victims. We don’t want to repeat the same mistake again,” Mwangi stressed.
The Commissioner said that there are 400 bags of rice that is awaiting clearance from the Devolution Ministry so that they can be distributed to the victims.
He said the County Government will top-up with cooking oil, sugar and other food necessities.
Kenya Red Cross Regional Coordinator, Mohamed Abdikadir, said the organization will start distributing non-food items starting, tomorrow.
“As Red Cross we don’t distribute food, but we are currently involved in medical outreach services and hygiene promotions to prevent outbreak of diseases,” Abdikadir said.
By Jacob Songok