Floods’ death toll rises to 285 as rains displace more people

Thursday, May 28th, 2020 00:00 |
Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa addresses the media at a past event. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

The death toll as a result of the ongoing floods occasioned by the torrential rains has risen to 285 people.

Speaking yesterday, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, who was flanked by Environment CS Keriako Tobiko, said the floods have left close to 800,000 families homeless but maintained the government has been putting enough measures to help the displaced families.

Wamalwa said the government has set aside Sh1 billion to be used to help the affected families.

“Our teams have been on the ground and we have managed to help over 400,000 families and our target is to ensure all citizens who have been affected are living well and they will be at a position to resume their daily activities effectively,” he said.

Wamalwa said 33 counties have been affected but Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties are the worst affected counties. Former Nyanza counties and Busia are some of the other counties which have been heavily affected.

 Garissa and Mandera are other counties in the northern region have been much affected by the floods.

 “With the rain still going on, our dams are still filling up and we expect more will be affected.

We are here today to urge Kenyans in flood-prone areas, in landslide areas to move to safer grounds,” he pleaded.

  On his part, CS Tobiko said the  ministry has set aside close Sh1 billion that will be used in planting trees, especially in areas where they have been swept way by the floods.

  “It’s high time Kenyans embraced the culture of tree planting.  The rains we are experiencing provide a very big opportunity for us as country to start planting trees,” he said.

 Last week President Kenyatta in his economic stimulus package  said as a solution to mitigate the impact of forest destruction and climate change, his government had set aside Sh850 million that will help rehabilitate wells, water pans and underground tanks in arid and semi arid areas.

Projections by the Kenya Meteorological Department show that the rains will continue within most parts of the country into next month.

This week, rains are expected to continue in some parts of the country while others are likely to record reduced rainfall amounts.

  Meanwhile, financial constraints and logistical challenges have slowed down, efforts by the government to compensate hundreds of displaced landslide and mudslide victims from Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties where 35 people were killed.

Consequently, the affected families have been asked to be patient and wait as their concerns related to resettlement and compensation were being sorted out by the national government.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Commissioner Ahmed Omar said the government was collecting data of households affected by the disaster, adding that the process seeks  to seal loopholes where people pretending to be landslide and mudslide victims benefit from compensation programme at the expense of genuine cases.

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