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MPs want Government to forestall flooding, destruction

By Kepher Otieno | Published Wed, May 16th 2018 at 00:00, Updated May 15th 2018 at 23:52 GMT +3
Leaders want structural policies in flood prone areas reviewed. [Caleb King’wara, Standard]

Leaders from Nyatike Constituency want the Government to build dykes to avert floods.

Legislators Tom Odege (Nyatike), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Paul Abuor (Rongo), and Walter Owino (Awendo) said only dykes would help control perennial flooding that has destroyed homes and roads, marooned villagers and disrupted learning.

They called for structural policies to ensure all new houses are built on higher grounds.

"Building structures either high or on floating foundations will help avert the houses from being marooned in flash floods," they said.

"Nyatike people continue to lose property, cattle and crops to floods. Each rainy season hundreds are displaced and houses destroyed. We must address this," they said.

According to Kenya Red Cross, floods have killed 158 people and injured 80 others countrywide.

A total of 49,975 households - approximately 299,859 people - have also been displaced, 19,223 livestock lost and about 21,741 acres of farmland destroyed.

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Yesterday, the MPs said it was unfortunate that despite government officials being aware of the floods' impact on the region, no substantive steps or early warning systems had been put in place.

"We wait until the rivers begin to overflow into homes, displacing thousands and destroying acres of maize then we respond with food aid," they said.

They also called for strengthening of early warning mechanisms.

"If there were effective early warning systems, then lives would have been saved," they said.

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