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Mai Mahiu tragedy victims seek counselling to rebuild

Friday, May 17th, 2024 03:43 | By
Mai Mahiu floods internally displaced persons queue for food at Ngeya high school in Naivasha, Nakuru county, on Wednesday, where they are camping after their homes were washed away by floods which killed more than 60 people. PHOTO/Raphael Munge 
Mai Mahiu floods internally displaced persons queue for food at Ngeya high school in Naivasha, Nakuru county, on Wednesday, where they are camping after their homes were washed away by floods which killed more than 60 people. PHOTO/Raphael Munge 

Victims of the Maai Mahiu flood tragedy that claimed over 60 lives have appealed to humanitarians and psychologists to help them with material and counselling help to rebuild their lives.

The devastated victims who experienced displacements, destruction of their homes, crops, roads, bridges and other property have been camping in centres established by the government and others in rented homes within Naivasha constituency.

They claim that they are distressed by the tedious journey of re-establishing and rebuilding their lives after the April 29, 2024 catastrophic incident.

The visibly traumatized victims led by Paul Kiragu and Anne Wanjiru told journalists that most of them have been reduced to paupers after losing all of their properties to the floods. Others are yet to come to terms with the tragedy and are yet to begin the healing journey especially after losing their loved ones.

Speaking after receiving donations from businessmen from Mt Kenya region under One United Gas Dealers group at Ngeya Secondary School, the victims called on the government to join hands with other well-wishers to help them rebuild their lives.

Received food rations

Some 100 affected persons received a complete gas cylinder each, food rations and cash from the group to help them clear school fees after some of their children resumed studies.

While saying that the government alongside kind-hearted Kenyans have promptly intervened to aid them with essential services and items such as blankets, mattresses, food rations, and medicine among others, the victims called for more support and guidance in their new journey of re-establishing their lives.

“We are still in need of urgent aid to ensure that our children, who survived the horrific tragedy, return to school. Most of us are struggling to raise school fees which has seen most of our children fail to return to school,” said Kiragu.

Severely traumatised

On her part, Wanjiru said that their children are severely traumatized by the tragedy and cannot concentrate in school, noting that they are in dire need of psychological counseling. She averred that even the parents and especially the elderly are in need of trauma services since most of them are yet to come to terms with the incident.

Joseph Ndung’u, a Thika-based businessman who led the group [One United Gas Dealers] in disbursing the kind donations, noted that the group aided the victims with over Sh500,000 to support their children’s education after realizing that most of them were unable to facilitate their kids’ education.

“We are asking Kenyans of goodwill including corporates to assist the victims as they are in a dire situation and urgently need aid to overcome the horrendous ordeal and start re-establishing their lives,” said Ndung’u.

He said the locals require jobs where they can start earning a decent living saying that firms and other corporate entities looking for workers should give the victims a first priority.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Stella Maris, a Kirinyaga-based businesswoman who called on the government to ensure that the victims are restored and adequately supported to enable them rise again.

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Mutua Kisilu divulged that learning at Ngeya secondary school Ngeya primary school, which were housing the flood victims, has resumed.

“The government has already started the process of resettling the victims to rental houses within the area. We appreciate the efforts from Kenyans who have since donated essential commodities and cash donations that will cater for student’s uniforms, books, and boxes,” said Kisilu.

Recently, President William Ruto announced that the government is focused on long-term solutions to prevent future tragedies.

Among the solutions he stated include upgrading infrastructure such as roads and bridges and ensuring better preparedness for similar natural disasters

As the Mai Mahiu community mourns and rebuilds, both government and local efforts are crucial in providing the necessary aid and support to help victims recover and re-establish their lives.

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