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Farmers suffer massive losses as River Yala bursts its banks

By Isaiah Gwengi and Rushdie Oudia | Updated Wed, November 25th 2015 at 00:00 GMT +3
Jusa Ayasi at his farm in Ururi village. His four fish ponds were washed awayt by floods. [PHOTO: ISAIAH GWENGI/Standard]

Floods have swept away crops in East and West Yimbo locations in Siaya County after heavy downpour.

The flooding occurred after River Yala burst its banks.

The affected areas include Rahondho, Achuodho, Mgane, Odhuro, Abidha, Ulungo, Ndiwo and Mago villages.

Speaking to The Standard, Agnes Audo Odongo, a farmer along River Yala, said she lost water melon, sukuma wiki, onions and tomatoes worth thousands of shillings.

"Some of our animals were also swept away by the raging floods. We now live in fear of also being swept away since our homes have already been flooded," she said.

Beatrice Otieno and Oluoch Lajah, members of a group that practices horticulture farming along the river bank, said they have been adversely affected.

"This is where we have been getting our daily income. Things are going to be hard for us when schools reopen because we have always depended on the income from the farm to pay fees for our children," said Ms Otieno.

In Ururi village, Juma Ayasi's hope of harvesting at least 14,000 mature fish is now dashed after his four fish ponds were washed out by floods on Sunday evening.

East Yimbo Ward office manager Charles Orao advised those living along the river banks to move to higher grounds.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Red Cross Society has raised an alarm over disease outbreak in flood affected villages within Kisumu County.

A survey conducted by Red Cross personnel has revealed that most flood victims are at a high risk of contracting waterborne disease.

Diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, bilharzia and typhoid have been found out to be rampant in most parts of Kisumu County due to contamination of water sources.

Close to 2,500 people have been displaced by floods that hit Nyando, Nyakach and Muhoroni areas after River Nyando broke its banks.

Red Cross Kisumu manager Jacob Kitiyo said his team had started distributing insecticide-treated mosquito nets and water purifiers to avert disease outbreaks.

"After we got reports from the county team, we have so far issued to 950 mosquitoes nets and aqua tabs for treatment of water," said Kitiyo.

He said other agencies should also help the displaced persons as the number was gradually increasing.

The team observed that toilets had been washed away and wells contaminated by floods.

"Animals that were washed away have also died in the water and that is why we are calling on locals to avoid using the water or boil and use aqua tabs before drinking or cooking with water," said Kitiyo.

It was also feared that pregnant mothers could contract malaria since stagnant water was offering breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Kitiyo was speaking at Nyamasau Primary School in Ombaka location within Nyando sub-county where his team visited displaced victims.

He said there were standby teams at in Kisumu and flood-prone areas.