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Thousands still reeling from effects of floods

Thursday, May 16th, 2024 06:45 | By
Tenants move out of their houses under police supervision after they started sinking following a heavy downpour at Kaptembwa Estate in Nakuru Town West over the weekend. Tenants accused Governor Susan Kihika of neglecting them PHOTO/Raphael Munge
Tenants move out of their houses under police supervision after they started sinking following a heavy downpour at Kaptembwa Estate in Nakuru Town West over the weekend. Tenants accused Governor Susan Kihika of neglecting them PHOTO/Raphael Munge

Thousands of households in the Mt Kenya region are still plagued by the effects of prolonged floods in the country that resulted in deaths, destruction of property including farmlands.

Besides causing obligatory relocations of persons living in low-lands, most farmlands have been swamped with floodwater and mud destroying crops that farmers hoped would unshackle them from harsh economic times.

According to the person in charge of the Red Cross in Mt Kenya region Esther Wambui Chege, over 22,000 households in the region are still devastated by the floods despite the rains having subsided.

Bearing the brunt are Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Meru and Embu counties where families have been turned into beggars after their crops were destroyed by the heavier-than-usual rains.

Speaking after donating assorted food items to affected families at the sprawling Kiandutu slums in Thika, Kiambu County in collaboration with members of Young Muslim Association, Wambui called on Kenyans to consider sharing the little they have with each other to ensure that no one sleeps hungry.

Require urgent supplies

Besides food items, Wambui revealed that most of the affected families, some of who are still accommodated in schools and at religious institutions, require urgent supplies of clothing, beddings, mosquito nets among other items to help them survive the storm.

“We have only been supplying food items to the affected families but a lot more is needed including mosquito nets, blankets, water treatment facilities among other things,” said Wambui.

She urged communities to avoid touring and or residing in flood-prone sites or areas at risk of experiencing landslides and instead move to safer grounds.

There has been a looming food shortage after extreme rains and floods unleashed a wave of destruction destroying farmlands in most parts of the country.

The heavy rains, compounded by the El Nino weather phenomenon, have devastated most parts of the country threatening to inflict more pain in Kenya’s food basket.

On her part, Fatuma Abdi Ali from Young Muslim Association, the donation is a flood-response call to Kenyans to hold each other’s back at a time when most families are struggling to put food on the table.

She insisted that every Kenyan has a personal responsibility of sharing and caring for their struggling neighbours even as they continue to agitate for government’s action. Among the donated food items were maize flour, wheat flour, rice, beans, cooking oil, soaps, salt among others.

As a result of the flood devastation, most households in the country are hunger-stricken and require constant support from the government and well-wishers to survive the current hardships especially after their crops were swept away by torrents.

Meanwhile, the government of India on Tuesday sent 40 tonnes of relief supplies to support rehabilitation efforts in the flood affected regions of the country.

The consignment includes 22 tonnes of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HA/DR) items such as tents, sleeping bags/mats, blankets, power generation sets, ready to eat meals, basic sanitary utilities and hygiene kits,

They also donated 18 tonnes of medical aid, comprising essential life-saving drugs and surgical equipment for critical care and wound management.

A press release  also indicated that the donation also included items required for baby food, water purification, menstrual hygiene, repelling mosquitoes, along with malaria and dengue diagnostic kits, anti-venom treatment and several types of testing kits that could be readily deployed on the ground.

Indian High Commissioner to Kenya Ms. Namgya Khampa handed over the relief materials to Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of East African Community and Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development Peninah Malonza at Embakasi military hangar.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the statement said that the assistance to Kenya signified the strong and friendly relations with Kenya in the spirit of South-South cooperation and their commitment to keep Africa on top of their priorities.

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