18 May 2017

Kenya: Floods Sweep Houses, Displace Hundreds in Lamu

Hundreds of families in Kiunga, Marerini and Bonini villages in Lamu East have been left homeless after their houses were swept away by floods following heavy rains in the region.

Over 70 houses, by Thursday, had been swept away while more than 400 locals were left in the cold following the heavy downpour since Monday.

This has forced many of the residents to set up temporary shelters.

Some families have also been forced to put up at neighbours' houses after their houses were swept away by the raging floods.

Speaking to the Nation at Kiunga on Thursday, Lamu East Sub-County administrator Shee Kupi said a team from the Kenya Red Cross Society, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Lamu government was in the area to assess the situation and assist those affected.

GET WORSE

"We have been forced to cancel some activities including a land survey that was to take place in the area on Wednesday following the heavy rains," said Mr Kupi.

Kenya Red Cross Society Lamu branch Coordinator Kawthar Alwy said they had already water treatment in order to avert outbreaks of water borne diseases.

According to Mohamed Sharif -- the Kiunga Community Conservancy Manager and one of those affected by the floods -- there is an urgent need for the national and county governments to make plans that would ensure rain water is directed into the Indian Ocean in order to avert similar such calamities.

"One of my houses has been swept away by floods and I am worried that the situation might get worse if the rain continues. This area is lower than the rest and that means whenever there's a downpour, it fills up faster.

URGENT AID

"It's more like a hole in the ground that easily fills with water. They must find ways of directing the water into the ocean or just do something to stop this," said Mr Sharif.

Mrs Sharifa Famau, one of the victims appealed to both the county and national government and well-wishers to intervene and save residents from the difficult situation.

"Our house has been demolished and putting up at a neighbour's house together with my family is a difficult scenario. We need urgent help including food, bedding, tents and medical aid," said Mrs Sharifa.

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