17 December 2013

Kenya: Taveta Floods Displace 300 Families

More than 300 families have been displaced by floods following heavy rains in Taveta sub county. Ward representative Fundi Maskuji expressed fears that an outbreak of waterborne diseases is possible.

He said pit latrines in the villages were destroyed and submerged by the flash floods.

"I have reported to the health officials in Taveta to act first because the floods might cause waterborne diseases," he said on the phone yesterday.

The villages that have been submerged are Kimorigo, Kivalua, Riata and Lambo. Taveta medical superintendent Felix Kimotho and county health director John Lugedi said the emergency has forced them to resume work from the ongoing strike .

"We have been forced to come in and save the situation although we are aware of the ongoing strike by our colleagues. This is an emergency that is why we have been forced to chip in," said Kimotho.

He said that 300 families, 31 toilets,27 bore holes, 15 water pans and the Kitobo water spring had been affected by the floods.

"The ministry of health in conjunction with the red cross are distributing chlorine powder to the affected areas in order to treat their water before use.The 31 toilets were completely submerged by the flush floods and could contaminate water," he said.

Lugedi said that they are currently doing water sampling and sensitizing community health workers on reporting any symptoms of water borne diseases to health officials in the area.

Last week, governor John Mruttu said that the county government will put up dykes to control the water flow to the lower areas.

He said that the County government through a partnership project with the National Youth service will come up with a long term plan to end flooding in the region.

"The NYS has ordered equipment from China that will arrive in February to deal with flooding. In the meantime we have engaged in short term solutions where we shall dig trenches and dykes to control flooding," said Mruttu.

So far there are no casualties reported in the floods.

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