Government spokesman Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna has highlighted the government’s commitment in responding to the destructive floods experienced across the Country due to the ongoing heavy rainfall.
Oguna stated that a total of 25 Counties have been adversely affected by above the normally rains in both Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) and non ASAL regions of the country citing Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Turkana, Garissa, Lamu and Kwale as the most affected Counties.
Speaking on Thursday during a press briefing in Nairobi, Oguna highlighted that 29 people have died, six injured, 11,700 people displaced and over 10,000 livestock swept away by the floods.
“Damaged infrastructure like cutting off sections of key roads and bridges and Sub-merged fast swathes of farmland and damaged crops of unknown value has been witnessed in the affected counties,” he added.
Oguna said that the Government is committed to ensuring that the impact of the floods is completely minimised and provide the necessary interventions to restore the quality of life of the affected people.
“The government will embark on awareness creation campaigns aimed at enhancing resilience of the people and such programmes will help communities to know how to respond before help can arrive from Government as we continue to experience enhanced rainfall in various parts of the country where they have triggered highly destructive floods,” Oguna reiterated.
The government spokesman regretted that the raging floods have left a trail of destruction in key sectors including infrastructure, education and agriculture, seriously interfering with food production and health in the affected counties.
He however, assured parents of the candidates of the schools in the affected regions that the government has put measures in place to ensure that they sit for their National exams.
“The Government is carrying out rescue operations of marooned Kenyans, enhancing supply of food items to the affected communities, distributing food and non-food items while enhancing medical attention in the affected regions to avert any outbreaks of water-borne diseases,” Oguna stated.
Oguna said that they have also been distributing non-food items (blankets, kitchen ware, bar-soaps and sanitary towels) to the affected Kenyans.
“Non-Food Items (NFI ) are to be distributed as follows- 500 NFI kits from Isiolo to Moyale plus three staff, 500 NFI Kits from Wajir to Mandera plus three staff, 500 NFI Kits (each Kit weighs 15 Kgs) from Garissa to Mandera plus three staff and 400 NFI Kits from Wajir to Buna,” he explained.
Oguna said that the food items will be distributed as follow; 50 metric tons of food and non-food items to be delivered to the affected counties of Wajir, Garissa, Turkana, Tana River, Marsabit, Kisumu (Nyando), Homa Bay (Karachuonyo), Busia, Trans Nzoia, Mandera, Lamu, Kwale, Kitui, West Pokot, Baringo, TaitaTaveta, Kilifi and Mombasa.
The food items are 700 of 50kg bags of rice, 2500 of 50kg bags of beans, 400 cartons of cooking oil and 100 bales of fortified food and these will be transported by trucks on today October24, 2019 and be strategically positioned in Marsabit, Garissa, Kwanza, Kiminini, Nyando and Busia.
The Spokesman added that the Government will provide temporary settlements for the displaced people and is encouraging communities living in flood-prone areas to vacate their homes and move to higher grounds.
He further said that the National and County Governments will continue to work together to save lives and alleviate the suffering of affected Kenyans through construction of dams and water-pans to harvest run-off water for irrigation purposes during dry weather and supporting proper housing and resettlement of people in danger-prone areas.
“The Government will also construct dykes to control rivers that break banks during heavy rains, all weather roads, and permanent bridges and conduct civic education among Kenyans on personal care, safety and security during floods,” Oguna affirmed.
He added that the National and respective County Governments, together with various humanitarian organisations such as the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) are working together to assist local communities in the affected counties.
By Wafula Isaac and Marende Nancy