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Residents urged to be cautious during this rainy season

Residents of Busia County have been urged to be vigilant and adhere to advice from experts especially during this rainy season.

Speaking to the press after a multi-agency meeting at a hotel in Busia town on Tuesday, the Western Regional Commissioner Irungu Macharia said that the enhanced rainfall as predicted by the Kenya Meteorological Department may cause flooding in Bunyala and other areas.

“The rains also cause other forms of disaster like loss of lives on the roads due to poor visibility and drowning of children,’ he said.

Macharia urged stakeholders to pool resources together with a view to addressing possible disasters caused by rains.

“We are doing a lot of sensitizations to ensure that our people are informed, and we have carried out mapping to know which areas will be affected,’ he said.

He pointed out that Busia is leading with high potential of flooding while Vihiga is prone to landslides.

“There are also chances of flooding in some areas of Kakamega County,” he said, adding that cases of mines collapsing are likely to occur.

The official urged the locals to refrain from mining activities during the season adding that they can continue with the activities when the rains subside.

“We are appealing to our people to heed to our warnings by moving to higher grounds,” he said, adding that drivers should also be careful on the roads.

Macharia at the same time said that special security officers will be deployed to man evacuation centres to ensure that the areas are free of gender-based violence.

“We know our children will be affected but we are doing the best we can with other stakeholders to make sure that our children continue accessing education,” he said.

He also urged parents to be more responsible for their children because the responsibility of safety and security of their children is mainly with the parents.

The RC further said that assistance to flood victims will be coordinated through the County Disaster Management Committee in order to avoid duplication of work.

“So the committee will sit and identify priority needs,” he said, adding that the government is ready to provide the necessary resources to support flood victims.

Busia County CEC Member for Public Service and Governance Pamela Awori stated that a section of Bunyala residents have been displaced by floods.

“As a County, we have embarked on unblocking drainages, sensitizing the locals and providing food and non-food items to the affected persons,” he said.

Awori added that the County has enhanced its budget towards response to disaster and was working with willing partners with a view to reduce the impact of disaster across the county.

‘As of now, we are talking about 1,000 flood victims in the Bunyala area,’ she said, adding that the victims have been moved to various churches and schools for safety.

According to reports from the Kenya Meteorological Department, the Western Kenya region is likely to experience above normal rains.

By Salome Alwanda

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