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MCAs now turn heat on KenGen over floods, want body to take responsibility

Two  Garissa MCAs have now turned the heat on the Kenya Energy Generating Company (KenGen) for allegedly causing massive flooding downstream River Tana.

Addressing  the press outside the County Assembly Chambers on Wednesday, Daud Aden (Danyere) and Abdirizak Ismail (Galbet) said although the floods are attributed to the heavy rains pounding several parts of the country it is mainly because of the excess waters released from the KenGen dams in Masinga into the river Tana.

The MCAs whose wards are hardest hit by the current floods said that the Tana River has burst its banks for the third time within 24 months destroying livelihoods downstream.

They said that they will officially write to the senate to compel them to summon and grill the Energy Cabinet Secretary (CS), Charles Keter over the recurring flooding that have become a menace to the residents.

“As an assembly we will petition The Senate because as an assembly we cannot directly engage the CS. We will petition The Senate to grill him on our behalf and ask him the hard questions on why our people keep on suffering year in year out on mistakes that are not of their own making,” Abdirizak said.

“Thousands of families from the counties of Garissa and Tana River have become victims every time we experience floods. Lives have been lost, thousands displaced and property worth millions of shillings lost to floods. KenGen must take responsibility,” he added.

Abdirizack  said that going forward a permanent solution to the flood menace must be found.

The Danyere MCA said that as an assembly they were developing a raft of solutions to the perennial problem among them building extra dams between Masinga and Garissa town purposely to hold excess waters and avoid flooding downstream.

“But before this is done, we must assess damages caused to lives and properties of the victims with a view of compensating them,” Daud said.

He  said that it has become a routine every time it rains and KenGen releases the water our people are told to move to higher grounds.

“The state knows that residents have farms along the river. The question is how you move your farm to higher grounds. What happens to your investment? Unfortunately, the circle goes and life goes on as if nothing happened. These are questions we want put before Keter,” Daud said.

Meanwhile, 1,500 families in three sub-counties of Garissa, Balambala and Fafi have been displaced by the raging floods after Tana River burst its banks four days ago following heavy rains upstream, this is according to the Kenya Red Cross.

Talking to KNA on phone, the organization’s North Eastern Regional Manager, Mohamed Abdikadir said that the families who have taken shelter at various learning institutions urgently require relief food supplies.

“The main concern for victims who have taken shelter at various institution in the three sub-counties is food. They need urgent attention from all the relevant stakeholders,” Abdikadir said.

The victims are spread in seven camps within Garissa Township, five in Fafi and one in Balambala sub-counties, all along the river Tana.

By  Jacob Songok

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