State disburses Sh10 billion to counties hard hit by El Nino rains

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. [Kelvin Karani,Standard, Standard]

The national government has disbursed Sh10 billion to counties hard hit by El Nino rains and floods, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said.

 Gachagua urged the affected counties to defer their development plans and re-direct funds to mitigate the effects of the floods.

 The DP faulted Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir, saying he has “folded his arms waiting for help from Nairobi.”

 But since last week, Nassir has been distributing food to families affected by floods.

 Gachagua said Mombasa has the worst drainage system which worsened the floods after heavy rains.

“Nassir should borrow a leaf from Nairobi county that has employed the youth to unclog its drainage system. Instead of sitting and complaining, he should buy food for his people because he has money,” he said.

 Gachagua said Wajir, Mandera, and Garissa counties have bought food to supplement the efforts by the national government to feed families affected by floods.

 “Let Nassir buy food, and we will give him military helicopters. Other countries like Wajir, Mandera, and Garisa have done so. This is not the problem for the national government alone,” he said.

 Yesterday, the DP distributed relief food to more than 500 families affected by floods in Barawa village in Kisauni constituency.

 He told Nassir to allocate funds to complement the mitigation efforts of the national government.

 He called on the counties to unclog waterways and other drainage systems and enhance financial, technical, and logistical support.

 Last week, 12 people were killed by floods on the Coast.

 Property of unknown worth has also been destroyed, and thousands of families displaced in Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River, Taita Taveta, and Lamu counties.

 Government officials said several other people are missing, and over 20,000 people are displaced in Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Kwale, and Taita Taveta counties.

 Coast Regional Coordinator Ms Rodah Onyancha said last week that the most affected counties by the floods are Tana River and Mombasa.

 In Tana River, more than 5,000 families have been displaced after River Tana burst its banks.

 Hundreds of residents have moved to Gamba.

 Ms Onyancha said the government has launched an operation to move thousands of residents living along the River Tana to higher grounds.

 She said 3,892 families in Mombasa have been affected by the heavy rains and floods, adding that at least 300 families have no place to sleep after their houses were either submerged or swept away by the raging floods.

 “In Kilifi, at least 214 families have been displaced while 82 households have been affected in Taita Taveta. The families have nowhere to sleep,” she said.

 Latrines and toilets have been destroyed by the floods, sparking fears of a possible outbreak of waterborne diseases.