8 November 2017

Kenya: Floodwaters Kill 2 Girls in Marsabit County

Two children aged eight and 15 years have died after they were swept away by floods in Marsabit County, following heavy rains.

Speaking to the Nation, Laisamis OCPD Joseph Mwamburi said the 15-year-old girl had gone to fetch firewood when she was swept away by the floodwaters.

FLOODS

He said the area has no river and it is a flat lowland, which has led to flooding.

"We recovered her body immediately after her parents made a report to the station," said Mr Mwamburi.

Kenya Red Cross Society regional coordinator Talaso Chucha told the Nation that another eight-year-old girl had been confirmed dead after she drowned in floodwater near their home at Kamboe.

Ms Chucha said that the two bodies of the two girls were taken to a morgue at Loglogo health facility.

STRANDED

According to the county government, people in Olom Village in North Horr are still stranded on sand dunes awaiting the water levels to go down.

Their village was swept away by floodwaters on Sunday night, forcing them to seek refuge on sand dunes and a nearby hill. They are trapped on the sand dunes as the area is marooned.

Deputy Governor Solomon Gubo said a rescue team was using a plane to take relief food to the affected families as the area could not be accessed by road.

He said the team had been camping at Kalacha waiting for the floodwaters to subside.

"Trying to walk through the water to Olom can take hours since even the Chalbi Desert is flooded at the moment. We are only making trips by air to see to it that they get relief [food] every day," said Mr Gubo.

SAFETY

He added that the bodies of an elderly couple that went missing on Sunday after the flooding had been recovered by the rescue team.

"They are still mourning the death of their neighbours, whom they buried," said Mr Gubo.

Ms Chucha said that in 2016, the same region experienced similar flooding but no one died.

She added that local leaders need to create awareness on the importance of moving to higher ground, when it rains.

"We do not have to always respond to emergencies that can be avoided. The people need to take caution and move to higher grounds," said Ms Chucha.

RELIEF FOOD

The county government has given 260 bags of rice, 430 bales of maize flour, 70 bags of sugar, cooking oil, maize, beans, wheat flour, milk, salt and soap, among other items.

They have also given 360 mattresses and 510 blankets to affected regions, which include Marsabit Central, especially the central business district.

Governor Mohamud Ali said he will ensure all affected people get relief food.

He said that rainfall is a blessing and people need to embrace it with caution.

"Today we have only visited Mountain, Dakabaricha, Jirime, and Nagayo of Marsabit Central and my deputy is in Olom with the rescue team. However, all affected families will be reached," he said when he distributed relief items on Wednesday.

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