The Star (Nairobi)

19 April 2013

Kenya: Ruto Sends Out Relief Food to Flood Victims

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday flagged off a military plane carrying 5 tones of food stuff to be distributed to those affected by floods. The plane left the Moi Air Base in Eastleigh at 12 noon yesterday.

It was headed to Garisa where military choppers were waiting to receive the food and distribute it to flood victims. The deputy president said the government has already put in place measures to ensure no more people die because of floods.

So far, at least 63 people have been killed and 35,000 more displaced by floods following heavy rains that have pounded some parts of the country. "We don't want the affected citizens to go hungry. We are providing food; there is medicine, and even drugs for livestock. The government is fully in charge," Ruto said.

He added that all Permanent Secretaries will be visiting several areas affected by floods today to access the damage and come up with recommendations to ensure additional government response.

"We don't want guesswork in disaster management. We are going to ensure that the National Disaster Management Authority is set up by ensuring a sessional paper on disaster management is tabled in Parliament," he said.

The deputy president added that several military choppers have been sent to Tana River to airlift residents to safety. He said President Uhuru Kenyatta had ordered the military to be part of the programme to help distribute food to the affected families.

Ruto added that the programme to help flood victims is being handled by the ministry of special programmes and co-ordinated by his office. The five tones of food included rice, beans food supplements for children, maize and cooking oil.

So far, Turkana, Marsabit, West Pokot, Tana River, Kisii, Migori, Garissa, Mandera, Isiolo and Kilifi counties have been largely affected by the floods. The deputy President said the government has also come up with a 5 year plan to deal with the floods. He said in five years, there will be building of dykes and dams in the most affected areas to curb flooding.

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