More than 900 households from Salah ward in Tana River County who were displaced by floods late last year and are yet to return to their homes on Wednesday received a total of Sh.5. 2 million through mobile money transfers to cushion them for the period they have been in the camps.
Each household received Sh.5, 613 to buy foodstuffs, pay for medical bills and cater for other necessities of their choice.
The money donated by Oxfam is being implemented by Arid Lands Development Focus (ALDEF) and is part of the Tana River Floods Response Program 2018/2020.
Speaking in Sombo, the ALDEF Program Officer, Mohamud Ali said that the cash donation was the last phase of the programme that saw over 1,500 households receive Sh.8.4 million in Madogo ward between January and February.
Mororo that saw at least 653 households displaced received the highest donation of Sh.3.7 million followed by Ziwani where 424 households displaced received Sh.2.4 million and Bakuyu got Sh.1.6 million with 291 households displaced.
Ali said that majority of those affected in Salah ward were irrigation farmers whose crops were swept away by the floods and are yet to recover.
“These are households who are still living in IDP camps to date. We are assisting them with the money to help them pay for medical bills, buy food among other necessities,” Ali said.
“We are reviewing how they utilized the funds with a view of starting phase two of the programme,” he added.
He said that the organization is also implementing sanitation programmes that include construction of pit latrines alongside the cash transfer programme.
Beneficiaries who spoke thanked Oxfam for the donation and urged other well-wishers to come to their aid.
Mohamed Ismail said that although the funds may not be enough they, will distribute them according to their needs including buying of seeds so that they can go back to the farms.
A senior administrator from Madogo who spoke to KNA on condition of anonymity said that although the idea of cash transfers was noble it was not sustainable.
The concerned organizations together with both the county and the national government should come up with a marshal plan to relocate all residents in flood prone areas far away from the riverine.
“Residents of Mororo, Ziwani, and Bakuyu that are displaced every time we have floods should be moved to Madogo. The government should acquire plots in Madogo where we have plenty of land and settle the flood victims there,” the administrator said.
“The land in Mororo should be turned into an irrigated rice farm and sub-divided to the vulnerable families who have no other source of livelihood,” he added.
By Jacob Songok