Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o has appealed for humanitarian assistance to support families displaced by floods in the area.
The flash floods occasioned by heavy rains have so far displaced 12, 500 people in Nyando, Kadibo, Nyakach, Muhoroni, Kisumu East and Seme Sub-Counties.
Nyong’o who held a meeting with officers from the National Disaster Operations Center in his office on Thursday said the affected families which are being housed at different evacuation centers were in dire need of food and non-food items as efforts to mitigate the effects of the disaster continue.
Among the items urgently required, he said, include beddings, mosquito nets, food, water, tents and medicine to ensure that the affected families remain safe.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure that the affected families receive the necessary assistance. We are therefore calling for support from well-wishers to contribute food and non-food items to help the affected households,” he said.
He added that the county government has distributed relief worth Sh5 million to about 1, 200 households affected by floods in the area and urged the private sector and well-wishers to support the initiative to reach the remaining households.
Kisumu Acting County Commissioner Hussein Alasow Hussein said the rescue operation was ongoing to ensure that all the affected families are moved to evacuation centers.
The rains, he added, were expected to continue urging all people living near River Nyando to move to safe grounds.
Through support from the county government, canals, waterways and drainage systems in the affected areas, he said, were being unclogged to ensure free flow of water to curb floods.
Dilapidated dykes along River Nyando, he added, were also being repaired as a long-term measure to contain the menace.
Kisumu Acting Director of Public Health Lilyana Dayo said plans were underway to supply chlorine tablets for treatment of water at the evacuation centers and the community to contain water borne diseases.
Public health officers and medical personnel, she added, have been deployed at the affected areas to monitor the situation and treat the sick.
“We are treating minor ailments and attending to expectant mothers. Those who are in critical condition are being transferred to our health facilities for further examination,” she said.
She asked all the affected families to wash hands regularly and observe high standards of hygiene at the evacuation centers to avoid cholera and water borne diseases.
“You are aware we recently had a cholera outbreak in Kisumu. Therefore, you must wash hands properly and maintain proper hygiene to keep the disease at bay,” she said.
The situation is likely to affect the reopening of schools on Monday since some of the institutions have been marooned by water.
Among them is Ogenya Primary in Kadibo Sub-County and St. John Paul II Nyamasao Primary School in Nyando Sub-County.
David Osiani, one of the victims at Ombaka evacuation center, said the situation was dire with children going without meals.
“We lost all our belongings to floods. Food and even cooking here is a big problem. We are appealing to the government and well-wishers to come to our rescue,” he said.
By Chris Mahandara