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Kisumu Leaders Clash over Failed Visit to Flood Victims

Kisumu senator Fred Outa and Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o clashed Sunday over the postponement of a visit by Cabinet Secretaries Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) and Sicily Kariuki (Water) to flood-affected families.
Nyong’o said Wamalwa and Kariuki could not tour flood-affected areas due to bad weather in Nairobi.
“Wamalwa has cancelled the trip due to bad weather. They have been advised not to travel due to weather situation,” said Nyong’o at Nyandega evacuation camp in Muhoroni sub-county.
Nyong’o, who was accompanied by the security team led by county commissioner Susan Waweru, said the two CSs will visit the area on a later date.
The CSs were to land at Kigoche Primary School before visiting the affected rice farmers in Ahero Irrigation Schemes.
They were also to visit West Kano to observe Lake Victoria backflow and its effects on the fields and residential areas, flag off clean water access project and distilling of natural streams at Miriu/Nyatini.
Outa however dismissed the reasons for the cancellation of the visit claiming Nyong’o was behind it for political reasons as people suffer.
“We are aware of the collusions that have led to such a decision. He wants to single-handedly take charge of giving food to affected people,” Outa claimed.
“We are aware the National Irrigation Board bosses have been in contact with Regional Commissioner’s office over the visit. Why cancel such a meeting that was in the interest of our people,” he posed
Outa faulted Nyong’o for poor response in assisting flood victims. He said the governor was focusing on “stories” instead of distributing foodstuff and other stuff to the evacuation camps.
He wondered why the governor visited flood victims empty- handed, arguing, “These people lack food and you come here to address them with nothing. The county government should give food to families affected,” Senator Outa said.
“He (Nyong’o) claims the food is in the store. Why can’t he distribute the food to those in rescue camps?” Outa questioned.
The senator claimed not even a single face mask has been distributed to residents and questioned how 200 million shillings that was to be drawn from the expenditure cuts in the current budget and other sources has been used.
But in a quick rejoinder, Nyong’o said his administration has put in place measures to tackle Covid-19 and help flood victims.
He said more than 3,200 people have been evacuated from various camps and the county government will ensure distribution of food stuff to those affected.
The governor explained that he has set up a rapid response team at the county’s Health department to support the Covid-19 coordination committee.
“So far, the county has trained 433 healthcare providers and sensitised a further 790 across the county, among other interventions towards covid-19,” he explained.
By John Ochanda

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