17 May 2018

Kenya: Flood Victims Contract Waterborne Diseases in Tana River Camps

About 700 flood victims living in camps in Tana River County have been hit by an outbreak of acute diarrhoea, skin and respiratory infections.

At least 242 people are suffering from diarrhoea, 265 from skin infections and 278 have contracted acute respiratory infections.

Kenya Red Cross officials said the infections have struck seven camps which are part of the more than 100 established in the county.

The seven camps are: Bandi, Gadeni, Dhanisa, Dumi, Lango la Simba, Mitapani and Walkoni.

Kenya Red Cross Coast regional manager Hassan Musa said children are the most affected.

"The diseases are as a result of the water they are consuming and the congestion at the camp. But we have been able to treat a good number of them," said Mr Musa.

A Kenya Red Cross medical officer told Nation that the diarrhoea outbreak has been caused by contaminated water.

"Most of the children are exposed to cold at night. Some are suffering from pneumonia, cough and flu but the cases are being dealt with," said the officer.

At the camps, the victims who are mostly women and children, are receiving treatment at mobile clinics set up by the Kenyan Red Cross.

"Life has been difficult here. Our children are suffering and yet we have been asked to stay longer at the camps. We need medical attention to save our children," said Ms Fatuma Harbute. Her son received treatment for a skin infection.

The government has urged the residents to move to higher grounds after announcing that Masinga Dam will start overflowing.

On Tuesday, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said Masinga Dam, one of the largest in the country, was at 1,055.5m and fills up at 1,056.5m.

Mr Keter urged residents of Garissa, Garsen, Hola and Bura to move to safer ground.


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