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132 dead, over 300,000 people affected by floods - Oguna

By Sigomba Ramadhan Omar | Dec 3rd 2019 | 2 min read

Washed away Sebit bridge that connected Nyarkulian and Parua villages in West Pokot County. [Standard]

Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna said that floods that have left a trail of destruction in various parts of the country have claimed over 100 lives.

“Those that have lost their lives as of yesterday are 132, should there be any casualty last night, that number has not been incorporated in this,” he said.

Briefing on the current heavy rains, he said that more than 300,000 people have been affected by floods countrywide as heavy rains continue to pound various parts of the country.

“Approximately 330,000 people have been adversely affected across the country and 17,000 have been displaced,” said Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna in a briefing.

He added that 11,000 livestock have been swept away and crops of unknown value have been destroyed after undetermined acres of farmland submerged.

Oguna has disputed reports saying that the death toll from the West Pokot landslide is over 50, instead putting the number at 46.

“As of two days ago, 36 bodies had been recovered and because of the duration of time since the disaster happened nine days ago, it is unlikely that seven people who have not been recovered are still alive,” Oguna highlighted.

In response to the situation, Oguna said that the government has offered support to the flood victims and evacuated them to a safer place.

A police chopper rescuing a man who was stuck on a temporary "island" at Fourteen Falls in River Athi. (Photo Courtesy)

The government has been in collaboration with humanitarian agencies like the Red Cross group and the World Food Program to support victims.

“We have been able to provide food and non-food items to the affected communities,” Oguna said.

The food items distributed include rice, beans, cooking oil and fortified food. Blankets, salutary towels and iron sheets were also distributed in some camps where the victims are temporary living.

According to Oguna, the North-Eastern region was the most affected which has seen West Pokot and Kitui receive the most aid in terms of foodstuff.

Areas that have been termed flood-prone are the Lake Victoria basin, the lower Tana Delta Coastal and Central regions and residents have been asked to move to safer areas.

“Already the government has designated camps in all affected counties that people can move to and assistance will be sent to them in those camps,” Oguna said.

He also lauded the Kenya National Highway Authority (KENHA) for providing alternative routes for motorists and fixing roads that had been cut off due to floods.

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