Flood victims in Garissa returning to their homes have called on the national, county governments and other partners to assist them rebuild their homes as they recover from the effects of recent floods.
The Flood victims’ Chairman, Abdille Bille said that most of them are returning to their shattered homes and collapsed latrines.
“The kind of destruction we have witnessed is devastating. Over 150 pit latrines have collapsed in Bulla Sheikh alone. The same scenario is being reported in other flooded areas,” Bille said.
“Most of the victims have lost their sources of livelihoods and are unable to start rebuilding their homes without being assisted,” he added.
According to the Kenya Red Cross 8 out of 9 camps within Garissa Township have been closed after the victims returned to their homes.
Bille said that the Kenya Red Cross was constructing houses for flood victims before the current floods displaced them.
“We are asking the Kenya Red Cross together with the county government and other partners to continue with project and extend the same to other victims whose houses were submerged and destroyed by the current floods,” he said.
The Chairman also called on the department of public health to put up temporary toilets for the victims to avoid an outbreak of water borne diseases.
“We are staring at an outbreak of cholera and other water borne diseases if the issue of hygiene is not addressed as a matter of agency,” he said.
He said most of the water pipes that were supplying water to the affected areas were swept away and the department of water should reconnect water to the affected areas.
Last week, the victims camping in learning institutions claimed that school management and ministry of education officials were threatening them with forceful eviction if they will not have left by Friday last week.
A senior education official who spoke to KNA on condition of anonymity confirmed the orders claiming that many of the victims want to continue being at camps to get relief supplies even when the flood waters in their homes have dried up.
“You cannot imagine the kind of destruction they (IDPs) have caused to the school’s infrastructure. They have polluted the environment and uprooted trees. The furniture’s have also been damaged. What we are saying is that the floods are long gone and they should just go back to their homes,” the official said.
Two weeks ago, the Garissa Deputy County Commissioner, Samuel Njuguna cautioned the flood victims against returning to their homes and farms until the crisis ends.
Njuguna said communities in flood-prone areas should wait for the floodwaters to completely subside before they can return and restart their lives.
By Jacob Songok