Thousands crammed in camps over floods amid Corona fears

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 00:00 | By
Residents mill around the flooded Ayweyo bridge on River Nyando in Kisumu. Photo/PD/VIOLA KOSOME

James Magayi and KNA

Heavy rainfall in Kisumu over the past week has caused massive floods and displacement of more than 2,000 people.

Those affected by the floods in Muhoroni, Nyando and Nyakach sub-counties are crammed in five camps with women and children making up the largest population.

Overcrowding in the camps has heightened the risk of contracting coronavirus.

This has prompted the county government to deploy staff from key departments such as engineering and public works to coordinate the provision of water and ablution equipment to the camps.    

The county is also mulling providing the displaced with food aid if the rains persist. 

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o yesterday urged farmers to plant fast maturing crops to avert a possible crisis in the county as Covid-19 fears continue to cause major disruptions in the food supply chain.

“These camps crammed with displaced people are potential centres for the spread of Covid-19...” Nyong’o said.

In Siaya, some 100 residents of West Ugenya location have been displaced after river Nzoia burst its banks.

Support victims

Hundreds of acres of farms have also been submerged, with residents fearing that starvation was imminent, as the seeds they had planted would not germinate.

Ugenya deputy county commissioner Pamela Otieno said the worst affected areas were Mudondo and Lunga villages within Mahawa scheme.

She said some of the families have already moved to Lunga Primary School for temporary shelter.

 Over the weekend, Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga called on the national government and donors to support the flood victims.

He said that with the pandemic that requires proper hygiene, the victims may be exposed to the virus unless quick action is taken to cushion them.

“The floods have come at a time when most of our resources have been channelled towards tackling coronavirus and we appeal for support,” he said.

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