Kenya: Floods Have Killed More Than 100, State Says

A man crosses River Chepera in Sigor, West Pokot on November 26, 2019.
28 November 2019

More than 100 people have died as a result of mudslides and floods occasioned by heavy rains in many parts of the country in the last two months.

Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna said 32 counties have been hit by mudslides and floods, with 350,000 people in dire need of assistance.

"The whole country has been affected by the downpour. Roads, bridges and other infrastructure have been destroyed," Mr Oguna told journalists in Kapenguria, West Pokot County Thursday.


He added that West Pokot, Baringo, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Garissa, Tana River, Narok and Kilifi are the most affected regions.

According Mr Oguna, government records show that 16,000 houses have been destroyed and 11,000 domestic animals killed.

He said transport, agriculture and education have been severely affected by the floods.

"Some schools were destroyed but we managed to move candidates to safer areas where they completed their national examination papers uninterrupted," Mr Oguna, who was accompanied by West Pokot County Commissioner Apollo Okelo, said.

He added that the Kenya Highways Authority is in the process of repairing damaged roads.

The government spokesman said mudslides killed 43 people in West Pokot on Saturday while seven others are still missing.

"This the correct figure. Our officers have been on the ground talking to the affected families," he said, adding that 1,500 people have been displaced so far.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo, however, puts the death toll at 58 and the missing at 12.

Mr Oguna said more than Sh20 million is needed to buy and coordinate relief supplies in mudslide-hit West Pokot and other another Sh1.52 billion for the same in the other counties.

"We thank humanitarian agencies who have backed government efforts but still call on Kenyans of goodwill to continue supporting this worthy cause," he said.

Mr Oguna added that the government and aid organisations are coordinating the supply of food and other vital items to the affected families.

Mr Okelo said the displaced villagers are camping in Tamkal, Nyarkulian and Parua.

He said the government's Special Programmes department has distributed 560 bags of beans and 200 bags of rice to the families.

Mr Oguna urged people in flood and landslide-prone villages to move to safer grounds.

"We should not ignore government alerts. The government has mechanisms to predict the weather," he said.

The Nation also learnt that some people who were not affected by the mudslides have gone to the camps hoping to get assistance from the government and donors.

A committee formed by Prof Lonyangapuo recommended that the camps be collapsed to ease the coordination of relief supplies.

The team said Tamkal evacuation centre in Pokot Central should be moved to Paroo, arguing that it is not safe following an assessment by the Kenya Defence Forces.

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