The national government has today started distributing relief food to more than 1,800 families displaced by floods in Garissa Township after river Tana burst its banks three days ago.
The food items that included 550 bags of rice and 20 cartons of cooking oil were distributed to the victims camping at NEP technical, Young Muslim, ATC and Hyuga girls primary school by area County Commissioner (CC) Meru Mwangi.
Addressing the press at Hyuga girls after launching the distribution exercise Mwangi said that the victims will also receive non-food items among them tents, mosquito nets, water cans and medical supplies from the World Food Programme (WEP), the Kenya Red Cross and other aid agencies.
The CC said that the 6 sub-counties of Dadaab, Hulugho, Balambala, Fafi, Lagdera and Ijara received similar amount of rice and cooking oil to assist flood victims in their respective areas.
Mwangi said that at the end of the exercise each family will have received ‘enough’ food to last at least two weeks.
He added that the learning institutions opened their doors to the flood victims to allow for social distancing and prevent them from contracting the Corona virus.
Galbet MCA Abdirizak Ismail whose ward is among the worst hit, while thanking the government for the donations said that it was time the leadership from the county came together to find a lasting solution to the flood menace in the area.
Abdirizak said that the floods cycle used to be 10 years but in the recent past the problem seems to have come down to 2 to 3 months.
“These families were here about 3 months ago. The flood cycle has drastically changed and it’s now time we seat down as leaders together with Kenya Power officials to see how best to address this perennial problem,” Abdirizak said.
“I am suggesting that Kenya Power construct more dams between Masinga dam and Garissa to hold the excess waters to avoid flooding downstream,” he added.
He said that the flood victims lose their livelihoods every time they are displaced and with the frequency and intensity of the floods they ‘might never recover’.
The MCA urged the victims to observe social distancing and other government guidelines to avoid contracting and spreading the highly contagious Corona virus.
Abdirizak also called on the ministry of health to carry out hygiene promotions in the camps to prevent the outbreak of water borne diseases among the victims.
By Jacob Songok