West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin has vowed not to allow hoarding of items meant for the public during his administration.
He was speaking yesterday while flagging off aid that was meant for 2019 floods and landslide victims, aid that was discovered stored at the predecessor’s residence in Kapenguria town after the 2022 general election.
“It was shocking to discover items that were meant for 2019 flood and landslide victims stored at the former governor’s residence in Kapenguria town,” he expressed.
He noted that it is sad that three years after the tragedy, some of the donations have not been delivered to the flood and landslide victims of Nyarkualian, Parua, and Tamkal locations.
The County boss pointed out that donations, including water tanks, clothes, utensils, mats, crutches, and wheelchairs, were found stored at the governor’s residence when he came to office last year, noting, the donations would be distributed to the vulnerable victims who were injured during the disaster.
He said that during the landslide, donors and humanitarian organisations had responded to the calamity by distributing food, clothing, wheelchairs, utensils, mats, water tanks, crutches, and mattresses, but it was shocking to discover that some of the items had not been distributed to the victims by the former county boss’s administration.
He explained that the landslide disaster caused the deaths of 23 people, displaced 2,700 residents, and broke a bridge in Weiwei Ward. In Batei Ward, 14 people died and seven were lost and have never been found to date, while 2,500 residents were displaced.
He further narrated that in Tapach Ward, 17 people died and 2,900 were displaced.
The governor lauded the donors and humanitarian organisations, including the Red Cross, the UNHCR, NGOs, and other partners, for their support, while assuring them that such hoarding of items meant for members of the public would not happen again.
He said the county had taken measures for disaster management and they were working to improve in terms of preparedness, unlike before, to ensure the safety of all residents.
Deputy Governor Robert Komole said that when he asked the previous regime why they hadn’t distributed the donations they didn’t get a reasonable explanation which led to the items not being distributed.
He noted that it was unfair for the donations not to be distributed when the well-wishers had given them promptly to assist the victims.
Komole disclosed that when he was a Member of County Assembly (MCA), the county government did not have a budget for disaster preparedness.
By Anthony Melly and Floridah Chepengat