Ruto: Kenyans in flood-prone areas to be evacuated

President William Ruto during the opening of the Bunge Towers in Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Kenyans in flood-prone areas will be evacuated to safer grounds, President William Ruto has said.

Speaking during the re-opening of Bunge Towers on Thursday, April 25, Ruto said this will ensure fewer casualties even as heavy rains continue to pound the country.

“I have instructed the National Youth Service to provide land to those people who are living in dangerous places and that they should be moved immediately as we work on a way forward. Unfortunately, we have to move some of them even without them agreeing because they put their lives in danger,” said the president.

His remarks come a day after floods wreaked havoc in the Nairobi Metropolitan region after nights of heavy downpours.

As of Wednesday, six bodies were retrieved from Mathare River taking the total death toll to 10 after four bodies- two male and two female, were earlier retrieved.

18 people, among them 7 children, were on the other hand rescued by the Kenya Red Cross in Mradi, Mathare, Nairobi.

According to Starehe Sub-county Police Commander Fred Abuga, eight people remain unaccounted for as a search operation continues.

Efforts to support those affected by floods are underway as the government is working with the military, the National government, and the NYS.

The President was speaking during the official opening ceremony of the Sh9.6 billion Bunge Towers in Nairobi.

The 28-storey building contains 331 air-conditioned offices, committee rooms, an open garden floor, an ultra-modern restaurant, a health club, and four basement parking floors with a capacity to accommodate up to 350 vehicles.

According to Ruto, with the new set-up, lawmakers have no excuse but to act on their deliverables to Kenyans.

“Now that you have a world-class facility, we expect world-class representation and execution. This building is not intended to symbolize entitlement and impunity but should be a symbol of our sense of duty, national value and dedication. It should remind you that you have a responsibility to the people who elected you,” he said.

Reiterating his remarks, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said: “We have gone round the building and truly you have all you need, now we expect you to work. But I want to urge you as you spend more time here, make sure you’ve gone back to areas you represent because that is where real issues are.”

MPs will also have access to an underground Sh150 million tunnel connecting the towers to the main Parliament buildings, fitted with a 24-hour lighting system, Wi-Fi internet coverage, drainage system, and security personnel on guard.