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Gov’t Steps up Efforts to Deliver Aid to Far Flung Regions Affected by Floods

 

The death toll due to flood related incidences stands at 168, while 3 more Kenyans regrettably succumbed to the ongoing floods in the past 24 hours, reportedly in the Counties of Tharaka Nithi, Nandi and Migori.

The Government has condoled with those who have lost their loved ones and further appealed to Kenyans to avoid flooded areas, cooperate with evacuators, and strictly adhere to flood and weather alerts to avert more fatalities and injuries.

Briefing the media on the El Niño Emergency and Disaster Response updates, Government Spokesperson Dr. Isaac Maura noted that rainfall is anticipated to persist across the Country’s Southern half from 9th to 15th December including the Lake Victoria Basin, Central Highlands, South Eastern Rift Valley, the Coastal Strip and Western Kenya.

From Sunday, 10th December, he added, isolated storms and intense rainfall are forecast for the Lake Victoria basin, Western Kenya and the South Rift, even as Northern Kenya is expected to maintain sunny and dry conditions.

While urging residents to be on the lookout and act on alerts and warnings on the road status, Mwaura pointed out that the Tana River flooding will continue to affect the surrounding areas and is expected to disrupt movement along the Garsen-Lamu road.

“The displacement crisis remains the same, with 109,033 households, comprising approximately 545,515 individuals, currently displaced,” announced Mwaura.

He assured that the government is tirelessly working round the clock through dedicated line agencies to repair the ravaged roads once the waters recede.

According to the Government Spokesperson, positive strides have been made in Northern Kenya, where previously impassable roads, including Isiolo – Garbatulla, Modogashe-Wajir and Hola – Garsen, are now passable due to the concerted efforts of the Ministry of Roads and Transport.

Notably, he was pleased to announce that the Mogodashe – Habaswein road, where a convoy of trucks had been stuck, has now been fully restored by the Kenya National Highways Authority and is passable.

Additionally, in areas where roads have been cut off and submerged, Mwaura disclosed that the Kenya Navy and Kenya Coast Guard Services are stepping in to ferry passengers across these inaccessible sections with one instance, where they are facilitating passenger movement on the cut-off section of the Lamu-Witu Road, particularly at Gamba in the Lango la Simba area.

On health matters, he stated that the previous cholera situation in Lamu County has been effectively managed and of the 115 reported cases, only 2 remain active, with the rest either recovered or tested negative.

“On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health, led by the Cabinet Secretary, visited the County and delivered 3 cholera kits capable of catering for up to 300 patients,” said Mwaura, adding that water and sanitation have been bolstered, with the Kenya Defense Forces deploying water bowsers to supply clean and safe water to Lamu residents.

To alleviate the strain on medical supplies, he stated that the Kenya Medical Supplies Association (KEMSA) has dispatched 164 tonnes of medical supplies to affected counties, with another 11 tonnes earmarked for dispatch to Turkana County.

“The Emergency Response team is capitalizing on the dry conditions in Northern Kenya to distribute relief items to Wajir and Mandera Counties. Currently, 24 trucks carrying food and medical supplies have departed for Isiolo to support these frontier counties, ferrying 102 tonnes of food and 3,940 cartons of medical supplies,” he added.

Mwaura also mentioned that collaboration between the Kenya Coast Guards, Earth Lungs, Lower Tana Conservancy, and Chara Community Forest Association delivered 8.25 tonnes of relief supplies by boat to Buyani and Marara villages, providing vital assistance to affected communities.

In addition to the government’s efforts, Mwaura revealed that esteemed partners, including the World Food Program (WFP), that has donated 1 helicopter, while Plan International, World Vision Kenya, Save the Children, and NDMA-HSNP, have facilitated direct funds transfers to about 10,000 households, supporting approximately 50,000 residents.

This collective effort, he insisted, is an indication of the government’s commitment to providing immediate relief and long-term support to those affected by this calamity through a whole-of- government, whole-of-society approach.

“We urge Kenyans to remain vigilant and take precautions. The Meteorological Department forecasts show that rains will increase in intensity from mid–December, and we advise Kenyans in flood-prone areas to move to higher grounds,” he reiterated.

By Michael Omondi

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