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Government gives humanitarian aid to flood victims in Marsabit

The National government is working with County governments in ensuring that people affected by floods get humanitarian assistance.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa has for three days now camped in Marsabit County, inspecting the extent of floods damage and distributing tons of relief food to residents of Amballo, Ela-bor, Badha-Arero and Dabel, among other floods victims.

Wamalwa, who together with Marsabit Governor, Mohamud Mohammed Ali, held a consultative meeting with stakeholders at a Marsabit hotel, said there was enough food reserve in government stores, adding that those in need of humanitarian help will be assisted.

“We as national government are cooperating with county governments to make sure that those affected by this disaster are assisted in time,” he said.

The Cabinet Secretary disclosed that the government has 3 million bags of maize, besides other food stuffs like rice, cooking oil and beans, in its strategic reserve which is being used to assist those affected.

He observed that food aid was being airlifted, using military and police aircrafts to affected residents in areas that have been cut off as roads have been made impassable by rains.

He commended Governor Ali and his counterparts in counties affected by floods for being proactive, saying that prompt reports on the enhanced rains has assisted in the speedy response by the national government.

“The government is using helicopters to airlift food aid to the affected across the country, as we want to have a timely and well-coordinated exercise to avert suffering” he said.

The Cabinet Secretary cautioned that the meteorological department has warned of excessive rains across the country, which will be followed by a severe dry spell.

He underscored the need to build resilience, especially among pastoralist communities through diversification and water harvesting for use during dry periods.

Wamalwa said that construction of more dams and revival of the multi-million Badassa dam in Marsabit County was in the pipeline and urged the devolved unit to join hands in scouting for the resources.

Governor Ali expressed concern that mobile health clinics have been paralyzed by the heavy rains, adding that ambulances could not be used to attend to emergency cases.

Thanking President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration for the timely response in availing assistance to hundreds of county residents affected by drought and now by floods, Governor Ali said emergency cases were being airlifted to points that are inaccessible by road.

The governor called on agencies and departments to adopt a proactive approach, which is tailored on building resilience when planning for development.

This, he noted, would help in addressing the issue of dependence on relief food aid, which he said was not sustainable.

By Sebastian Miriti

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