Victims of floods living in wetlands within Tana River County will get a thorough beating before they are rescued in future calamities, Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana has warned.
Addressing locals in Garsen, the governor said that his administration will not continue to lose money in rescuing people who defy orders to vacate the wetlands.
Godhana noted that the order to vacate did not just emanate from the county government, but also the national government, hence it should be obeyed.
"Mr County Commissioner, we will not just head for the usual rescue mission. I urge you to equip yourselves with whips. We shall rescue as we whip individuals until they learn to obey directives," he said.
Mr Godhana said that the county administration spends more than Sh20 million every flood season to rescue victims and feed them.
Also, he pointed out losses incurred by non-governmental organisations in the effort to save residents from the calamity. He said the resources will in future be used on sustainable development.
The governor lamented that the administration had come up with a cluster programme, an idea coined to move floods victims from the wetlands to the high grounds, which some individuals had chosen to ignore and campaign against.
Come up with proposals
He said whereas locals in affected villages had come up with proposals for where they desired to be settled, others have refused to move and will only cry out for support when calamity strikes again.
"This cluster programme was an Idea to protect you from losses, and I will stand by it to the grave even if you don't appreciate it. But it's for you who have been suffering for decades," he said.
The governor also urged locals not to be manipulated by divisive politicians.