1 January 2013

Kenya: Kerio Valley Mudslide Death Toll Reaches 20

Several homes swept away due to mudslides. ( Resource: Mudslides Destroy Homes in Kenya )

The death toll from the mudslides caused by floods in the North Rift region has increased to 20 in the last three days. Five more people died while 26 others including 20 initiates were reported to be missing after mudslides swept away homes in parts of Pokot.

Rift Valley OCPD John M'mbjiwe flew to different areas in Kerio Valley and Pokot to asses the situation in the region where more than 1,000 people have so far been displaced from their homes.

"Many rivers have burst their banks and the destruction has been massive. We are likely to have many more people forced out of their homes as the rains continue," said M'mbijiwe.

He said so far 15 people have died in parts of Kerio Valley. He said more than 200 families have been displaced in Pokot and the government has asked all those living in risky areas to move out immediately.

He said the situation was especially bad because river Wei Wei has burst its banks and is now sweeping through hundreds of homes in Pokot.

Though the government and Kenya Red Cross has been supplying humanitarian aid, Keiyo South DC Arthur Bunde has said the support so far received is inadequate and families need more food and items like blankets and medical kits.

Bunde said the death toll could rise since they are still receiving information of people reported as missing and who they suspect could have been buried by the mudslides.

Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi is expected to visit some of the affected areas to asses the situation and offer additional government support.

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