Bodies of two KRA officials swept by floods retrieved


A vehicle with two persons was washed away by heavy downflow of water at Kibiboni Lunga Lunga. [Kenya Red Cross X]

Bodies of two Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials whose vehicle was swept away by floods at Ramisi bridge in Kwale have been recovered.

The two were traveling to Mombasa from Lunga Lunga on November 17, when the incident occurred.

KRA Southern Region coordinator Lawrence Siele said an intensive search and rescue operation by a multi-agency team was launched to retrieve the bodies.

"The two officers were traveling to Mombasa from Lunga Lunga, where they are stationed when the accident happened. The vehicle was swept by floods around Ramisi River in Kwale county," he said.

The late KRA officers are Joram Maina, the Lungalunga Border Management Committee Chairperson and David Ng’ang’a.

And the government and the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) officials continued to provide emergency aid to victims of flash floods across the Coast region.

In Mombasa County, East African Community and Asal Cabinet Secretary Penninah Malonza and Nyali MP Mohamed Ali distributed food stuff to the flood victims at the NG-CDF in Nyali constituency.

Ali said he had asked the national government for relief aid and immediate intervention to ensure the people of Mombasa have the resources necessary to deal with such disasters.

He assured that more foodstuff from the national government was on the way.

"I thank the Kenya Red Cross Society for their efforts and donations and for standing with the People of Mombasa as they grapple with the effects of flash floods," he said.

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir said the county government in partnership with KRCS provided relief supplies to families affected by the floods.

"At the same time, our engineering teams are working round the clock to pump water out of flooded neighbourhoods. We have a total of ten pumps doing this work. Our emergency lines remain open to deal with any cases of medical, fire, and/or evacuation emergencies," the governor said.

Kenya Ports Authority officials said loading and offloading of bulk and break bulk cargo at the conventional cargo area usually stops when there is heavy rain.

"The hatches are usually closed when there is heavy rain. This delays the loading and offloading of cargo at the conventional cargo area," said the official yesterday. He could not immediately quantify the impact of flash floods at the port.

Meanwhile, Lamu county government and KRCS vehicles ferrying relief food supplies and non-food items for more than 300 families marooned in Lumsh village got stuck in the mud following heavy rains.

Lamu Governor Issa Timamy, who was leading the convoy that comprised the KRCS and Al Kheir Foundation officials, were forced to trek after the vehicles got stuck in the mud.

The governor and his team boarded boats that had been ferried in the morning to Lumsh village.

Lumsh village was cut off after water levels started rising in the oxbow lake, which is normally dry.

It was estimated that more than 4000 residents of Lamu have been affected by the floods and there are fears the numbers will rise as rains continue to pound the area.

KRCS Coast Regional Manager Hassan Musa, who accompanied governor Timamy, said they had carried non-food items, including mosquito nets, and blankets, among other items.

Alkheir Foundation has donated 7.5 metric tonnes of relief food for 600 households, 600 buckets and water purification tablets to last for 30 days, and another consignment for 400 households that were donated to Tana River county.

Tana River is the worst hit by the floods, with more than 11,000 residents displaced from the low-lying grounds.

Timamy said after getting the distress call from Lumsh village, they engaged the KRCS and dispatched a disaster response team.

He announced that a team of medical personnel were in the village treating patients and would be visiting the area every five days.

“I appeal, especially to our people living near lakes or rivers, to move to higher grounds to avoid being swept away by the floods,” he said.

Musa noted that more than 32 houses had been submerged in Lumsh village, which is surrounded by an ox-bow lake.

He said they distributed mosquito nets to the families that had complained of mosquitos.

“Apart from what we have done, the county and another humanitarian organization had supported the families with food supplies. This shows that cooperation in such disasters is key to addressing the problem,” he said.

Musa announced that they would leave one boat behind for one week to enable the locals to access essential services.

Alkheir Foundation representative Omar Suleiman said they supported the victims with fortified food, drugs and water purifiers.

“We are targeting 600 households, the food has come but is still on the other side as our vehicle got stuck. We had challenges due to heavy rains. We offloaded them from our truck to a tractor, but we again got stuck due to floods,” he said.

Lamu County Executive Committee member for Health, Dr Mubarak Bahjaj, said they were a team of six medical officials, including those of public health, who were treating families to avert outbreak of diseases.

He explained that they divided themselves into two teams, one treating the sick and the other assessing possible outbreaks of disease, and they found that diarrhoea cases were not high.

"We found children with pneumonia and treated them. We visited 12 houses which have elderly and expectant mothers and mothers who delivered but have not been able to access health services as they are cut off," he said.

Dr Bahjaj said one patient was referred to the hospital as his condition required more medical intervention.