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More than 300 families in Murang’a face starvation due to landslides

More than 5,000 acres of land in Murang’a County have been affected by landslides and floods with families now staring at starvation.

The  Red Cross Mount Kenya Regional Manager, Gitonga Mugambi has said crops and properties of about 300 families have been destroyed by ongoing rains.

He noted that no life has been lost but many farms have been affected by either landslide or floods occasioning destruction of farm produce.

The affected families are reportedly facing starvation since their crops and parts of their farms have been completely destroyed.

Speaking to KNA in Murang’a town on Tuesday, the manager observed that Murang’a County is highly affected, compared to other counties within the region.

“The county has been hit more by floods and landslides followed by Kiambu, Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties. From our current assessment, in all the said counties we have more than 20,000 people in need of food support,” he added.

He continued, “Some of the people facing starvation are not only victims of landslides and floods but also victims of Covid-19, which has blocked people from attending to their daily economic activities.

In Kigumo Sub County, Mugambi noted that some families have lost big parts of their farms to landslides, thus the residents have nothing to eat and urged the local county government to intervene and provide food to the affected.

“It is so unfortunate that the farms destroyed by landslides belong to the less fortunate in the community and we are appealing for well-wishers to come in and donate foodstuff to the affected families,” he added.

Since the onset of April –May rains, Murang’a County has been affected by trail of destruction occasioned by landslides especially at middle zones of the county.

Lower areas of Murang’a have experienced floods leaving farmers counting losses after their crops were swept away by raging waters.

Mugamb i said Red Cross is on ground to ascertain exact number of residents who have been affected by the rains as appeal is made for support.

He appealed to people living in landslide prone areas to move to safer grounds, saying reports by meteorological department indicates many parts of the county will continue to receive more rains.

“Due to Covid-19 epidemic, the victims are advised to integrate with their relatives and friends rather than gathering in open grounds,” said Gitonga.

On public awareness on Covid-19, Kenya Red Cross, he said, has engaged other stakeholders to educate the public on the need to observe personal hygiene and frequent hand washing.

He said in the past one month, there has been teams in the counties educating the locals on the need to keep safe distance among other requirements.

“In the region we are lucky that majority of locals apart from a few, have been cooperative in matters related to personal health to keep the disease at bay,” said Mugambi.

By  Bernard Munyao

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