More than 70 families have been displaced from their homes and properties damaged in Ngambo and Sintaan villages in Ngambo location of Marigat Sub County after River Perkerra burst its banks following heavy rains in the upper regions.
The floods have submerged the homes and two learning institutions, Ngambo Primary and Secondary Schools forcing the affected families to move away as the furious floods submerged the houses.
A resident, Pauline Lelebo, said the raging floods has forced her and the family to spend three nights in the cold adding that they have not managed to cook any food since everywhere is full of water.
Ms. Lelebo also said they were likely to contract waterborne diseases like typhoid, pneumonia and malaria because of drinking contaminated water and sleeping outdoors in extreme cold weather.
“We have been forced to find refuge in raised grounds even if it is beneath the tree. We do not know where to move to as the floods have made us stranded,” Lelebo said.
A village elder John Lesaniwo who empathized with the families especially those having elderly people has urged the national government to relocate the victims and others bound to be affected by the ongoing heavy rains to safer places to avert further destruction of properties and loss of lives.
“I want the national government to donate relief food and other forms of humanitarian aid to assist us to cope up with the environmental disaster,” Lesaniwo appealed.
He stated that gabions constructed along the river last year by Ministry of Water and Irrigation as a stop gap measure to prevent overflow have not solved the problem but instead worsened it particularly in sections without dykes.
County commissioner Henry Wafula who toured the region to assess the situation has asked those living in flood prone area to relocate to safer ground until that time the rains would have subsided to avoid putting their lives at risk.
Mr Wafula said they have written to Nairobi requesting for humanitarian assistance in form of relief food and other non-consumable items.
According to a report compiled by the county meteorological officer Samuel Mutai for period ending next week, heavy rains were likely to continue with increased intensity especially in the Southern parts of the county.
Mr Mutai stated in his forecast report that parts of Mumberes, Maji Mazuri and Lembus Kwen were expected to receive abnormal heavy rainfall that would result to flooding downstream in parts of Marigat Sub County.
He said other areas that were bound to be affected by the current heavy rains included Eldama Ravine, Lembus/Perkerra, parts of Mogotio, Emining, Kisanana, Koibatek wards and Kerio Valley region due to the heavy downpour being experienced in highland zones of Elgeyo Marakwet county.
By Irine Bartonjo and Joshua Kibet