Tana River hardest hit as rains persist countrywide

Friday, May 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Mwanja Village in Tana Delta in Tana River County marooned by floods following the heavy rainfall. Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

Monica Kagia

Rains pounding different parts of the country continue to leave a trail of destruction with Tana River County being the most affected.   

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) says about 48,000 residents of Tana River county have been displaced by floods which have been described by relief experts as the worst in the region’s history

The displaced persons are now camping at schools and trading centres.

KRCS said most families have been forced to abandon their homes while others had their houses washed away after River Tana burst its banks in the Tana North area.

Dr. Asha Mohamed, the KRCS Secretary-General is currently leading a delegation from Nairobi and Coast accompanied by local Governor Dhadho Godhana on a three-day tour of the affected areas.

Mohamed said the floods pose  many challenges countrywide with Tana River the worst hit.

KRCS data indicates that Tana Delta has 4,659 households affected followed by Tana North at 2,821 households and Galole which has 673 households affected.

During the tour of Makere village, the delegation witnessed an entire village which is at risk of being wiped out after the river changed its course and swept away over 30 houses.

Vulnerable families

Some 4,000 people from the village have nowhere to stay after they were displaced by the floods.

Godhana said long lasting solution to the floods in the area would be the construction of new homes in higher grounds identified by the county government.

“The national government should declare the whole of Tana River as a riparian area and disaster zone so that people are relocated to higher grounds and do their activities downstream,’’ he said.

Relief organisations have not been able to access some of the areas,  among them Bula Rahma, Adama, Korati, Lagbadana and  Gubani since the floods began.

In Mandera County over 8,000 people vulnerable families have benefited from free food distributed by the county government.

A survey in various parts of the county revealed that needy residents had received rice, beans and cooking oil from the Governor Ali Roba administration.

At Neboi, Mama Hodan Abdullahi Ibrahim, 35, hailed the county government for the supplies saying the rations came as a blessing to needy families during month of Ramadhan.

Deputy Governor Mohamed Ahmed Arai flagged off trucks carrying the food rations of 102 tons of rice, 33 tons of beans and 25 tons of cooking oil to be distributed to the families.

Speaking outside the county headquarters in Mandera town  said each of the 8,229 families are to get 12.5 kgs of rice, four kilogrammes of beans and three litres of cooking oil.

“The response interventions that are necessary to save the lives of our people and those of their livestock are immense.

Accordingly, we call upon the national government, Non-Governmental Organisations and all other development partners to provide support to the families living along the riverine areas as it rains heavily in the Ethiopian highlands leading to more floods downstream in our county,” Arai said.

The floods are a result of River Daua bursting its banks uprooting hundreds of people. 

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