More than 100 families have been displaced by floods from their homes in Rachuonyo North Sub County of Homa Bay County after river Miriu broke its banks following heavy down pours.
The families, drawn from Kobuya and Wang’chieng locations where the most affected areas were Kawuor Agindo , Komenya, Konyango Kasirawa Lower Kabonyo, Konyi, Kawuoche, Kolaga and Kachieng’.
The residents were forced to vacate their homes after flooding water from river Miriu overflowed into their homes.
Speaking to KNA, the Chairperson of Wang’chieng Disaster Management Committee, Kennedy Ochola said that the families were now seeking refuge in their relative’s homes on the higher grounds while others were staying in two local churches near Chuowe Beach.
Ochola further said that the families could not be taken to Osodo Primary School which has been the campsite for the flood victims in the area following the government safety measures in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
“This families cannot be taken to the campsite because the government banned public gathering as a way of curbing the spread of the killer virus,” Ochola said.
At the same time, Ochola expressed fear that several families in the area might be displaced in the coming days following the current status of river Miriu and the ongoing heavy rains in the region.
He further revealed that in Wang’chieng, 26 families have been affected while in Kobuya at least 100 families have been displaced.
The Kobuya Location Chief, Damianus Osano who appealed to Kenya Red Cross, both County and National governments to intervene by providing humanitarian assistance to the victims.
“I want to urge the both the national and the county through the disaster management committee to come to the aid of the victims,” Osano said.
While confirming the incident, Rachuonyo North acting Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) James Mabeya said that the government was monitoring the situation to ensure the residents were safe.
He appealed to the families living in the flood prone areas to move to high grounds to avoid possible deaths and destruction of properties.
Meanwhile, residents of Rotian area in Narok North Sub County are a crying foul after a private dam constructed by their local chief broke its banks and destroyed property worth hundreds of thousands last night.
The residents say Chief John Ole Taga dug the water dam against their will and despite having been warned by the village elders, he put a deaf ear and allowed the water dam to remain on the hilly ground.
Led by Johnson Ole Saiyaton, the residents said they have incurred heavy losses as the dam water often overflowed sweeping through their shambas and destroying their houses making them to incur losses amounting to thousands of shillings.
“We are lucky to be alive because after the heavy downpour last night, my house was submerged in the middle of the water. We started screaming then our neighbours came to rescue us,” said Ole Saiyaton.
Ole Saiyaton asked the government to intervene to close the dam and reconstruct it in another place, saying it was posing an environmental hazard.
“We have visited the chief’s homestead with village elders requesting him to close the dam as it is built in a dangerous place but he has never listened to us. Instead he is very arrogant and very demeaning,” lamented Ole Saiyaton.
Fredrick Ole Sankok, a village elder said they heard screams and wailing from the family of Ole Saiyaton in the middle of the night and when they arrived, they found their house was submerged in water.
“We narrowly rescued all the family members who were in the house from being washed away. However, we were not able to save most of the goods in the house and we helplessly watched as they were destroyed by the water,” said Ole Sankok.
However, when contacted for comments, Chief Ole Taga dismissed claims that he was arrogant, saying he would be consulting with the locals to chart a way forward as the dam was not only benefiting his family but the whole community.
“I have personally spent a lot of money to construct this dam that is of use to the locals here during the dry season. I will be engaging them to find a lasting solution,” said Ole Taga.
By Dan Oduor/Davis Langat/Ann Salaton