State to meet hospital, burial costs for West Pokot victims

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 00:00 |
A house destroyed by a landslide in West Pokot county on November 22. Photo/PD/File

The National government will pay hospital bills and funeral expenses for victims of the landslides in West Pokot county, County Commissioner Apollo Okello said yesterday.

Speaking when he visited Nyarkulian Primary School camp in Pokot South sub-county, Okello said his office is working on burial arrangements.

“The names of those who lost their lives have been forwarded and hope that before the end of the week, all of them would have been buried,” said Okello.

Some 43 people have been confirmed to have died in the landslide.

He appealed to residents living in areas prone to landslides to move to safer places.

Okello also issued a warning to persons who were not affected against taking advantage of the situation to collect relief rations from Nyarkualian, Parua and Paroo camps.

The three camps are accommodating more than 4,000 survivors whose houses were swept away by landslides and floods.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, 52 households were affected in Nyarkulian and 676 displaced, 64 households in Parua with 1,525 displaced and in Paroo 50 families were affected and 1,850 displaced. 

Fake victims

“We have noted that people who were not affected come to the camps in the morning and leave in the evening after collecting beddings, utensils and food stuff meant for the victims,” he said. The commissioner, who visited some of the homes that were buried by landslides, said the government and other donors had delivered food and non-food items to the victims, especially those who lost everything.

“If you are not affected just stay at your safe home. Why are you oppressing those who lost everything by collecting what was meant for them? Some walk kilometers to  the school and grab donations,” he said.

Okello said the landslides could be attributed to deforestation in the area. 

He disclosed that the government was planning to settle the landslide survivors in safer areas. “Construction of low-cost houses for survivors will start soon.” —KNA

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