Tana River MPs call for long term measures to safeguard locals from floods

Danson Mungatana, Yakub Adow and Amina Abdullahi addressing Journalists at Parliament Buildings. [Boniface Okendo, Standard] 

Members of Parliament from Tana River County want the government to construct mega dams in the region so as to safeguard residents from perennial floods.

Addressing Journalists at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi, on Tuesday, the legislators led by Senator Danson Mungatana said that the county lost more than 20 people in the  boat accident in Mororo area where 50 people are said to have been on board with some not accounted for.

Mungatana noted that 80 per cent of electricity is generated from dams which normally overflow with the water that ends up in River Tana posing a risk to the residents downstream and they should be compensated adequately since they shoulder the burden of electricity generation in the country.

“We are calling on the government to increase the level of dams or construct new ones so as to ensure that the people of Tana River are safe whenever there is flooding since asking the residents to move to higher areas might not be of much help at the moment,” he said.

The senator asked the government to compensate residents who have lost homes, schools, hospitals, churches, mosques and other public utilities through floods which could have better been handled if there were adequate measures in place.

Tana River Woman Representative Amina Abdullahi regretted that residents are displaced by floods whenever it rains and few months later grapple with drought and asked the government to come up with contingency measures to protect them.

Abdullahi requested the government to provide safety boats and urgently address the humanitarian crisis due to floods that have worsened cholera outbreak at a time when health facilities are inaccessible.

“Women and children have been heavily affected following the floods witnessed in Tana River county. We are condoling with the relatives of the more than 20 people who have lost their lives at the Mororo area boat accident with many more still unaccounted for,” she said.

Bura MP Yakub Adow blamed the Kenya National Highway Authority for laxity in constructing roads in the region saying the boat accident could have been prevented if there were proper roads to be used by residents.

Adow called on the Kenya Electricity Generation Company to sensitise locals to ensure they move to safer grounds in good time before electricity-generating dams overflow.

“Currently Bura constituency has been heavily affected by the floods, we are calling on the government to come up with measures to ensure that residents of neighbouring Galole and Garsen constituencies do not find themselves in danger caused by flooding,” said Adow.