Kibera flood victims leave sheltering camp following reduced rains

SHOFCO Chief Programmes Officer Gladys Mwende (left) leads the handover of essential items to flood victims hosted at the organization’s centers in Kibera.

Over 100 flood victims in Kibera had a reason to smile on Sunday, May 26, after being released from an NGO sheltering camp.

The flood victims had been hosted by Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) organization for two weeks, afterwhich they got essential items to restart their lives.

According to SHOFCO Chief Programmes Officer Gladys Mwende, the victims were releases after the heavy rains subsided across major parts of the country, including the capital Nairobi.

“We worked with communities to identify those who lost everything to floods. We have hosted them for two weeks and we are glad that they are now going back happier and healthier than they came,” Mwende said.

To give them a head start, the families parted with beddings, clothes, foodstuffs, and money for rent after the houses they were living in were swept away by raging floods.

Mwende said the victims were supported fully during their stay at SHOFCO.

“Children have been able to go to school from here and parents with jobs have also been going to work. SHOFCO also treated those who had illnesses and offered psychosocial support to all the victims,” she stated.

Mwende further revealed that the organization supported over 20,000 flood victims in 17 counties across Kenya.

“We have reached 17 counties that were most affected by the floods. We supported the victims with beddings, foodstuffs, water, psychosocial counseling, and medication.

“We want to thank well-wishers, donors and communities who supported us because this is something that cannot been done by one organization alone. We also worked very well with the national and county governments,” Mwende added.

Nairobi County Shofco Urban Network (SUN) Chairperson Elizabeth Okumu said most of the flood victims were spending their nights outside along the river bank, further risking their lives during the rainy season.

“We used SUN committees to rescue the victims. Most of them were not feeling well and they were taken to SHOFCO health centres for treatment. I’m happy to see them doing well today and they are ready to go back to their respective homes after receiving household items and rent money,” Okumu said.

Rose Achieng, one of the flood victims who were hosted at SHOFCO Kibera School for Girls, thanked the organization for helping her and her family during the difficult time.

“We have had great stay here at the centre. We were given food, clothes and medication. Today, as we prepare to leave, we have received foodstuffs, beddings, clothes, shoes, and money for rent.

“I want to thank SHOFCO CEO Dr. Kennedy Odede for helping us and may God bless him so that he can help many others,” Achieng said.

On May 7, Dr. Odede offered the organisation's centres across the country to be used as holding centres for flood victims.

“I want to urge people to move away from river banks. As Shofco, we have centres across the country and they can use them for now. We stand with the flood victims during this difficult time,” Dr. Odede said.

Through its SUN programme which has over four million members across Kenya, SHOFCO was getting real-time data from all the corners of the country affected by flash floods.