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Heavy rains displace over 500 people in Nyanza

By Olivia Odhiambo | May 17th 2016
Robai Naliaka (left) of Kolweny Vilage in Nyando is helped by her neighbour Seline Otieno to rescue household goods after floodwater on April 28, 2016. (PHOTO: KEVINE OMOLLO/ STANDARD)

At least 500 people have been displaced by floods in Nyadorera, Alego Usonga sub-county after River Nzoia burst its banks.

Some of the affected are being housed at a resource centre and a church while others have moved to market centres.

According to Nyadorera Assistant Chief Sylvester Amwok, warnings that had been issued to residents to move to higher ground were never taken seriously.

Force was used to move the locals to the resource centre after it was apparent that the flooding would take place.

"Villages like Muhondo, Nyadorera centre and Muhere are the worst hit and most of those displaced are seeking refuge at the resource centre while those from other villages like Kamelunga A and C, which are across the river, are being housed in a church," said Mr Amwok.

The administrator said farm produce, homes and cattle were swept away but no deaths had been reported, as most victims managed to leave their homes before the flooding.

The river's waters are currently at 5.3 metres above the normal rate of 4.3 metres, and with the heavy rains continuing to pound the region, the waters may rise some more.

Increasing water levels

"From my observation, the waters are likely to rise because the levels are fast increasing, which is very dangerous. We are trying to move families to safer ground. I have already talked to my seniors about the situation on the ground," he said.

A victim, Paul Omoke, whose house was submerged said he did not move when the Government issued a warning for people to go to safer ground because he has no other land.

Mr Omoke said he was afraid of a possible cholera outbreak as a result of lack of pit latrines, and the use of untreated water.

"The water we are using from River Nzoia is not clean and it may cause diarrhea. We also have a problem of shelter as men because we cannot share the resource centre with our wives and children," said Omoke.

Another victim, Miriam Onyango, said she lost everything to the floods as her house was swept away.

"I have lost my special shoes and wheel chair. I appeal to the National Council for Persons With Disability to help us especially now when floods are sweeping away our belongings," said Ms Onyango.

Governor Cornel Rasanga said the county government was in the process of securing higher ground to establish rescue centres in case of floods.

Rasanga noted that the centres will be constructed in Uranga and Nyadorera to help monitor and warn the victims when heavy rains are expected.

"We will ensure that at the rescue centres they will receive good health care to reduce the spread of diseases like cholera. We will make a proper assessment of the damage and share it with the national government for action," he said.

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