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Landslides hit West Pokot again

Two people died and four were injured after landslides hit Tortoy village at Weiwei ward in West Pokot County yesterday night following a heavy downpour.

            Confirming the incident to KNA, Area County Commissioner Apollo Okello said the bodies of the two victims have been identified following a joint operation between his rescue team and the locals from the area.

            Okello said those injured were taken to the nearest health centre for attention.  The affected area is inaccessible by road.

            “My team is on the ground though they cannot reach the spot where the tragedy happened to conduct a detailed assessment of the gravity of the damage. The bodies are yet to be transferred to the mortuary,” stated the CC.

            He recalled that the same place had previously been hit by another landslide which claimed the lives of 21 people.

Okello is appealing to those living within the area to relocate to safer grounds owing to the ongoing heavy rains.

            He regretted that despite earlier advisories that those who were not affected by the last landslides should relocate, many had remained adamant.

            He has urged the area residents to stop cultivating on the hills and instead engage in tree planting to help hold the loose soils and stones.

West Pokot residents have decried the unprecedented long rainy spells that have surpassed the normal seasons.

            “At such a time the rains are supposed to be subsiding but the opposite is happening. What residents should do is heed to advisories and move to safer grounds to help avert further disasters,” advised the CC.

            Okello said livestock were also affected by the landslides but the number that was swept and buried under the mud is yet to be established.

By Richard Muhambe

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