Sunday, December 4, 2011

14 killed and 40,000 homeless in month of floods

Bane of Budalangi
Villagers transport their household goods from flooded homes in Kamalunga village in Usonga, Siaya District on December 4, 2011. Raging floods have left 14 people dead and more than 14,000 homeless since the onset of the short rains in October. Photo/JACOB OWITI
Villagers transport their household goods from flooded homes in Kamalunga village in Usonga, Siaya District on December 4, 2011. Raging floods have left 14 people dead and more than 14,000 homeless since the onset of the short rains in October. Photo/JACOB OWITI
By NATION TEAM newsdesk@ke.nationmedia.com

More than 700 people have been rendered homeless and 10,000 hectares of banana plantations destroyed after River Tana burst its banks following heavy rains.

Over 200 families have been evacuated from flooded areas of Nanighi and Chewele villages in Bura division.

Tana River North DC Reuben Loyotoman, who visited the villages, said all residents had been asked to vacate the area since the water level was still rising following heavy rains in the Aberdare mountains.

Kinakomba ward councillor Salim Gadeni pleaded for food donations and warned that the number of crocodiles had increased in the river, posing danger to the families.

Elsewhere, hundreds of families displaced by floods in the North Rift region have expressed fears of an outbreak of water borne diseases.

The victims yesterday appealed for medicine and water purifiers.

“Hygienic conditions will likely deteriorate in most of the areas as floods continue to wreak havoc,” said Lomokiriong’ Akoru from Turkana Central.

In Eldoret, sewer lines in Kapsoya, Huruma, Langas and Kamukunji estates have either burst or are overflowing raising fears of a disease outbreak.

“The situation is likely to deteriorate into a blown up health hazard unless urgent measures are taken to repair the damaged sewerage system,” said Ms Margaret Cheptoo from Kapsoya.

A team of public health officials has been dispatched to educate people on proper hygienic practices.

Transport operations in most parts of Kerio Valley had also been interrupted after several bridges were swept away by floods.

Ribkwo/Kositei ward councillor Daniel Tuwit of Baringo East District has asked the government to urgently repair a bridge, which was swept away after River Ng’inyang broke its banks

“Thousands of our people are on the verge of starvation as many areas have been cut off from the neighbouring districts which we rely on for food,” said Mr Tuwit.

He warned that many local schools may not re-open in January if the rains persist.

Reported by Hassan Barisa, Barnabas Bii and Wycliff Kipsang

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