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Government airlift relief supplies to victims of flash floods

The  Deputy Governor, Abdi Dagane (left) with area County Commissioner, Meru  Mwangi on Monday December 16, 2019 at Garissa  Airstrip oversee the offloading and loading of relief supplies to a military chopper destined for Ijara and Hulugho Sub- counties that were cut off after the roads were rendered impassable by heavy rains that continue to pound the region. Photo by KNA

The  government has started airlifting humanitarian emergency supplies to the residents of Ijara and Hulugho Sub-counties that have been cut-off by floods.

The  food and nonfood items distributed include rice, sugar, maize and wheat flours among other assorted items to Hulugho, Sangailu, Bothai and Galmagala area using military choppers since the roads were rendered impassable by heavy rains that continue to pound the region.

The  Deputy Governor, Abdi  Dagane, who  was present at Garissa  Airstrip  on Monday to oversee the supplies will assuage the residents of Ijara, Hulugho, Dadaab, Lagdera and Fafi from suffering due to the crisis caused by the rains.

“We have teamed up with the National Government, WFP and the Kenya Red Cross Society to ensure people at the camps in Garissa town affected by the Tana River floods and far-flung Sub- counties get the necessary support,” Dagane said.

The  Deputy Governor assured residents of Garissa County that the humanitarian efforts will continue until the situation improves.

Earlier, Dagane chaired a meeting where key players assembled to discuss strategies of supplying relief supplies to the affected residents.

The  Garissa County Commissioner (CC), Meru Mwangi said the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL regions was committed to ensuring that the necessary relief supplies reach all the flood victims.

Mwangi said all supplies will be distributed immediately it reaches the targeted destinations considered to be seriously affected.

The Kenya Red Cross team led by the Regional Coordinator, Mohamed Abdikadir were present to coordinate supply of non-food items donated by the organization.

The airlifting comes days after Kenyans living downstream river Tana were directed to vacate to higher grounds immediately as Masinga Dam was likely to overflow.

The  Water Resources Authority Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Shurie, warned that the hydro-electric dam is full and may overflow in the next one to two days.

“The situation is dire. We are giving a warning for people to vacate,” Shurie said in Nairobi on Wednesday last week.

Shurie warned Kenyans who live along the banks of the river in Garissa, Hola and Garsen in Tana River to move to higher grounds.

Currently, the velocity of the water in the river has increased to 336 cubic meters per second, compared to 30-100 cubic meters initially.

Heavy rains will increase the volume of water in the river as well as the dam.

By  Jacob  Songok

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