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Lamu sets up fund to tackle flood crisis

Friday May 19 2017

A young boy wades through a flooded foot-path in Kiunga, Lamu East on May 18, 2017. many families have been displaced. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

A young boy wades through a flooded foot-path in Kiunga, Lamu East on May 18, 2017. many families have been displaced. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KALUME KAZUNGU
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The county government of Lamu will use the Sh 6 million that had earlier been set aside as emergence fund to address current effects of the heavy rains that have been pounding the region for the past five days.

The money is targeted at tackling flooding, displacement of households, waterborne diseases, food decay and shortages amongst other calamities brought about by the rains.

Speaking to the Nation in Lamu on Friday, county acting chief officer in charge of Public Service Management and Administration Mr Salim Bunu said the county government of Lamu is prepared to face any challenges brought about by the heavy downpour.

So far over 70 houses have already been demolished in Kiunga and its environs with over 400 locals left to brace the cold following the heavy rains.

Mr Bunu said priority will be given to the people of Kiunga and other areas that had been affected by the rains.

He said the money will be used to purchase foodstuffs and drugs that will be used to treat waterborne diseases that are likely to arise during this time of heavy rains.

Mr Bunu said the county will also intervene and assist in reconstructing the structures that were swept away by floods in Kiunga and its environs.

“We had set aside Sh 6 million to address emergence issues including water-trucking during the drought season. We will now be forced to divert the cash into addressing effects brought about by the heavy downpour in various parts of Lamu County. We have already experienced floods in Kiunga and we will step in soon to assist the affected,” said Mr Bunu.

He said a team had already been formed and sent to the ground to assess the situation.

HEAVY DOWNPOUR

“The team will compile a detailed report that will be submitted to us before we immediately intervene and offer aid to the affected. As county government, we are prepared to face and mitigate any challenges or effects brought about by the heavy downpour,” said Mr Bunu.

Mr Bunu said as part of the mitigation measures, the county was also in the process to form special County Steering Committee on disaster preparedness to oversee effects caused by the rains.

He however advised locals living around river banks and dams to vacate the places for their safety during this rainy season.

In Pandanguo, locals have been forced to remain indoors after Pandanguo-Witu road became flooded.

“We have experienced heavy downpour day and night since Tuesday. We call on the government to speed up the reconstruction of the Witu-Pandanguo road. It is impassable,” said Mr Sharuti Ali.

Transport along the Lamu-Garsen road has also been hampered this week following the heavy downpour.

Bus company owners and passengers plying the Lamu-Garsen road have already raised their concern over the dilapidated nature of the road, saying it has greatly contributed to more delays in reaching to their destinations.

“Since the onset of the rains, we have been forced to drive at a very minimal speed. There are multiple potholes filled with rain water along the road. We now experience a 3 hour delay to reach our destination compared to days when there is no rain,” said Mr Athman Mzee.