Kenya: Desperation in Kilifi After Floods Force Hundreds Out of Homes

4 December 2019

A humanitarian crisis has hit Kilifi County since River Sabaki broke its banks, displacing about 1,000 people in Malindi and Magarini constituencies.

Last Tuesday, Madunguni and Garashi residents salvaged some belongings and fled after their houses, farms and schools were flooded.

River Sabaki, which flows from Athi River, broke its banks following heavy rains, which came after about a month of inadequate levels.

When journalists toured areas including Madunguni Secondary School, they found several families camping at Madunguni Primary and the Garashi chief's camp.


Victim Lucy Abdalla Idi said they fled from their homes last Tuesday after their houses were flooded and their crops and livestock swept away.

"I have lost the maize farms and livestock which I depended on for my livelihood and we have not received any help since we began camping at this school," she said.

Mr Idi asked the government to compensate them for their losses so they return to states of financial stability and support their families.

Sulubu Kiraho Kombe, a resident of Mavutano who has also camped at Madunguni Primary with his family, had a different plea for the government.

"We urge the government to build us houses uphill as has been done before to save us from such disasters," he said. We are headed towards Christmas ... we request the government to compensate flood victims."

Kakuyuni Ward Representative Nixon Muramba noted the dire need for relief food and clean water for all the people.

"We requested the school's head teacher to accommodate them when River Sabaki broke its banks, leaving the entire village flooded," he said.


Mr Muramba also called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to consider building houses for those who missed out on the programme spearheaded by the Kenya Red Cross Society, for which he allocated Sh1 billion.

"So far, the victims have not received any help but Red Cross and the county disaster management team have visited the camp to access the situation. We hope they will help," he said.

The MCA also appealed for relief food and other kinds of help from the government and called on Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to visit those affected and ensure they are assisted.

"Come back and help like you did last year when locals were hit by floods. Due to the spirit of the handshake, we urge Hon. Raila Odinga to intervene since people are suffering."

Mr Muramba said five other villages - Madaunguni, Mongotini, Paziani, Marana and Kisiwani - were at risk.

"We appeal for relief food and clean water. We also appeal for the polio vaccination period to be extended to ensure no child is left out because of the floods."

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