CS says State airlifting food aid to counties hit by floods

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019 05:04 | By
Defense CS Eugene Wamalwa. Photo/PD/FILE

 By Alvin Mwangi and Irene Githinji

All Kenyans affected by floods of will receive food supplies and other relevant government assistance, Devolution Cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa has assured. 

He said the government has embarked on airlifting food aid using police aircraft to Marsabit, Turkana, Garissa, Elgeyo Marakwet, Mandera and Tana River counties, where the ongoing heavy rains have rendered roads impassable.

“The government is using helicopters to airlift foodstuffs such as maize, beans and cooking oil to the affected areas. We want to have a timely and a well-coordinated exercise that will avert suffering,” said Wamalwa.

His assurance came even as the Meteorological Department projected that rainfall will persist for a few more days in several parts of the country, with strong southeasterly winds of 25 knots expected in Marsabit and Turkana. 

Climate change

Wamalwa called for deliberate measures to address effects of climate change, which he attributed to the devastating effects of floods witnessed in various counties.

The CS, who joined the Marsabit floods emergency operation at the weekend, also announced plans to construct three dams in Marsabit, Turkana and West Pokot county to enhance their water harvesting and storage capacity as a long-term strategy to build resilience.

Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali applauded the effort and commitment of the government to come to the rescue of flood victims.

“The National and County governments should work in harmony to avert these catastrophes which can be avoided through preparedness coordination and immediate response,” he said.

 Meanwhile, rescue operations have been ongoing in Lodwar town following massive flooding, especially in lower grounds. 

A joint team of County Disaster Management Department, Kenya Maritime Authority, medics from the county referral hospital and a host of humanitarian organisations, including the Kenya Red Cross, have been helping residents affected by the floods. Some families were marooned after River Turkwel burst its banks.

Also contributing to the flooding is River Kawalase —flowing a kilometre away from Lodwar town—which has also burst its banks.

Avert disasters

Residents have been urged to move to higher ground until the rainy season is over to avert disasters.

And earlier yesterday,  the Meteorological department forecast that said most parts of the country will continue to  receive rainfall in the coming days.

Rain will persist in central region, Nairobi and parts of Eastern region.  

Showers are expected this afternoon in Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Embu, Meru, Kiambu, Tharaka Nithi, Laikipia, Nyandarua and Nairobi counties.

Counties covered include Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia, Bungoma, Kisumu, Kisii, Siaya, Homabay, Kericho, Nandi, Bomet, Nakuru, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia and Narok.

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