Families stranded in Lamu following heavy rains, floods

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 00:00 |

Monica Kagia

Hundreds of families in Lamu are still stranded after their homes were marooned in water, following ranging floods that have also caused havoc in the neighbouring Tana River and Kilifi counties.

Women, children and the elderly are now confined to their villages and depend entirely on relief food as they are not able to move to safe grounds.

The floods hit the area after River Tana and Nyongoro River burst their banks following heavy rains pounding the country.

The areas affected can only be accessible by boat or helicopter.

Apart from depending on relief aid, the residents are living in fear of being attacked by crocodiles, snakes and hippos hovering their homes.

Already Kenya Red Cross Society in partnership with county and the national government have begun several interventions including distribution of non-food items, relief food and health services for the flood victims. 

Lamu Women Representative Ruweida Mohamed has offered a boat from the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) to enable evacuation of people and transportation of humanitarian aid to the victims.

Slow response

The boat has been stationed at the shores of Lake Moa, as it is the safest areas  to load relief aid to the marooned villages for distribution.

Ruweida, who said many of the villages are completely cut-off from rest, expressed concern over the slow response by the National government to help the flood victims.

“The villagers had been cut off. That is why I decided to give out a boat of NGAAF to rescue them,” she said.

She said Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is to blame for the perennial floods due to overflooding of its power generating dams upstream and vowed to push with other leaders to ensure the victims get justice.

“There is a petition in Parliament which was filed by MP Ali Wario that I contributed, recommendations were made by the committee of energy but its like KenGen are sleeping on their job they want to work the way they want,’’ she said.

Speaking after touring Chalaluma the legislator said the electricity generating company has done little to address the flood problems. 

She said Parliament had recommended that KenGen increase the size of the dams and sensitise wananchi on the ground but nothing has happened so far.

Residents have described the flooding as the worse in the history of disasters in the county. Bonea Abadima, 57, a resident of Chalaluma said many houses risk collapsed.

Abadima said water-borne diseases are on the rise. “We have received blankets, tents, soap, mats, we thank the Kenya Red Cross for their humanitarian aid,’’ he said.

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