A Sh.182.2 million national government housing programme for 1,822 household affected by floods in Tana River County last year is almost complete.
Jerald Bombe, the Kenya Red Cross (KRC) Manager in charge of Tana River County, says a total of Sh.112.8 million has already been disbursed through mobile cash transfer to beneficiaries of the housing programme.
He was speaking at the Tana River County Commissioner’s Board Room during a County National Government Service Delivery Coordination Committee, during which he said the houses were at different stages of completion.
“ Each of the households is to receive Sh.61,927 through cash transfer and vouchers amounting to about Sh.38,073 to buy iron sheets, cement, metallic doors and windows,” he said.
By the time of presenting the status report, the Kenya Red Cross had distributed 36,440 iron sheets, 36,100 bags of cement and 7,288 roofing ridges to the beneficiaries in addition to the Sh.112.8 billion disbursed through mobile money transfer.
“Some of the beneficiaries have already completed their houses while others are yet to complete them,” he said adding that the funds were being disbursed in tranches to avoid misuse.
“All the beneficiaries received the first tranche totaling Sh.54,253,494 while 1,464 beneficiaries received the second tranche (Sh.26,352,000) and 1,378 got part one of the third tranche amounting to Sh.14,400,100),” he said. “Only 393 beneficiaries have received the final part of the third trance amount Sh.4, 126,500,” Bombe said.
Bombe said the programme was mooted by the national government to cushion those who had been severely affected by the floods that wreaked havoc on farms and homes, leaving thousands of residents destitute.
The Tana Delta sub county has the highest number of beneficiaries at 1,516 households followed by Tana North sub county (202) and Tana River sub county (141).
“Some 764 households that were also severely affected were left out because they did not have land on which to construct their new houses,” said Bombe.
The programme was expected to end in three and a half months, but experienced delays arising from land ownership and other challenges.
Bombe said some of the beneficiaries had increased the sizes of their houses from their own resources that supplemented the government grants.
He however, lamented that some of the beneficiaries were selling materials but added that his office was liaising with chiefs and committee project committee members
to stem the practice that could hamper successful completion of the programme.
Bombe also said the government had acquired two motor boats, hired three certified coxswains and trained 35 divers to help in rescue missions during floods.
The Tana River County Commissioner (CC), Oning’oi Ole Sosio commended the national government for coming to the aid of the flood victims.
By Emmanuel Masha