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Frustrated flood victims confront leaders

There was light drama at young Muslim secondary school in Garissa, where victims displaced by the recent floods confronted a delegation of leaders that had gone to check on their situation.

The victims pointed an accusing finger at the national government, alleging it was behind the spillage of water at the Kindaruma dam by the energy body, KenGen.

The leaders who included Devolution CS, Eugene Wamalwa, CAS, Hussein Dado, Governor, Ali Korane, National Assembly Majority Leader and area MP Aden Duale watched helplessly as the victims complained.

They also claimed that despite their suffering, the government was slow in providing clean safe drinking water, food, shelter among other necessities in the camps.

“It is unfortunate that we have spent two nights in the cold and yet not even a single government official, either from the national or county government has visited us. When you decided to do so, you are coming with a few bags of rice, surely how this will be distributed,” an angry elder who had been given a chance to speak quipped.

“If you have decided to assist us, then do so wholeheartedly. But if you have come to seek a publicity stunt just to be pictured distributing relief food, then we are not interested. You can as well go back with it,” he added.

Hundreds of residents of Garissa from Bula Punda, Bula Iftin, Bula Sheikh and Windsor have been displaced, while in neighbouring Tana River County, Mororo, Ziwani, Bakuyu residents who reside along the river have also been worst hit. They all spend nights in the cold after their houses were submerged in water after the river burst its banks, on Wednesday night.

However CS Wamalwa attempted to calm the situation, saying that the government will do everything to make sure that the affected families get the required assistance.

Wamalwa said that the government has enough food to feed all the internally displaced persons not only in Garissa but the entire country.

On the issue of KenGen, the CS said the he will raise the matter with his cabinet Secretary for Energy, Charles Keter with a view of finding a lasting solution to the problem.

“We will discuss this matter with the relevant cabinet secretaries, including the one for health so that measures can be put in place to prevent outbreak of water borne diseases,” Wamalwa said.

Earlier on, local leaders led by governor Korane and Duale promised to take the energy body to court and sue them for massive destruction of properties and displacement of hundreds of people.

Duale said that the matter will be discussed in parliament to ensure that ‘somebody takes full responsibility for their actions.’

“We will be seeking compensation of up to Sh. 40 billion in damages from Ken Gen. We will not allow such destruction to happen in future. For now all we are doing is to help our people the best way we can including providing food rations and other social amenities,” Korane said.

According to the Kenya Red cross, the floods has affected more than 5,000 people in Garissa County alone.

By Jacob Songok 


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