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Gov’t donates relief items to flood victims

A total of 16 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 136 from flood-related incidences even as the government continues to distribute food across the affected counties, including airdrops to inaccessible areas.

According to the National El Nino Emergency and Disaster Response Command Centre, the number of households displaced still remains at 92,432, which comprises 462,160 people, even as a decrease in rainfall is anticipated across most parts of the country with sunny and dry conditions prevailing over the Northern half of Kenya in the coming week.

Addressing the press, Interior and National Administration Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Raymond Omollo cautioned that occasional rainfall is expected to continue over the Southern parts of the country, including the counties of Narok, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Makueni, and parts of Kajiado.

The PS announced that 10 tonnes of assorted food items had been airlifted to Wajir County Thursday morning and that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) had also airdropped food items at Chebaso in Isiolo County.

Further, Dr. Omollo was relieved to declare that the Kutulo-Elwak Road has since been repaired by KeNHA engineers and is currently passable, which has consequently allowed the 36 truck convoy carrying various commodities, including food and diesel, that was stuck at Tullow to reach its destination.

He assured the public that other roads affected shall be repaired once the waters subsided, adding that the government has additionally flown rescue boats from Mombasa to Garissa County to assist in evacuation and relief efforts.

On health matters, the PS assured the nation that diarrheal cases reported in Lamu, Garissa, Kwale, Mandera, and Wajir counties are being managed.

“The cholera kits donated to the State Department of Public Health by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are being dispatched from the WHO regional hub to the Kenya Red Cross warehouse for last-mile distribution to 17 counties,” stated Omollo, adding that mosquito nets will also be distributed to Isiolo County on Saturday, with other areas to follow suit.

The PS pointed out that the floods have also affected livestock and agriculture, with acreage of farmlands submerged and an outbreak of pneumonic cattle diseases where 72 poultry, 12 cattle, 1,680 goats, 728 sheep, and 1 camel have died.

“Over 6,500 ha of River Tana irrigated farms in Garissa County and 3,370 acres of farmlands in Wajir County have been flooded,” he added.

Dr. Omollo advised farmers to harvest mature crops and make use of temporary storage facilities in the counties, while at the same time urging wananchi to adhere to weather and flood alerts and take precaution so as not to risk injury or death through driving on flooded roads and crossing bulging rivers.

He presented the toll number 0202151053, where anyone can report any emergency incident to the National Disaster Operations Centre for quick response.

By Michael Omondi

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