Children killed as landslide buries their homestead

Tuesday December 6 2011

By NATION TEAM [email protected]

Three children were killed in a landslide as the rains drenching the country continue to wreak havoc.

Thousands more have been forced to flee flooded homes.

Mr Ezekiel Merubuch, 53, of Kibigor village, Keiyo South, lost three children at the weekend after a landslide triggered by the heavy rains hit his house as they slept.

Mr Marubuch said he as away when he got a call that huge rocks had flattened the house in which his children were sleeping.

Neighbours found the mother of nine single-handedly trying to rescue the children. They managed to rescue six of the children but Chebet Koech, 16, and twins Chelimo Koech and Chepngetich Koech, 5, were buried alive.

A few kilometres from the Marubuch homestead, three other children were taken to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital suffering from spinal injuries after being hit by landslides.

In Isiolo County, 21 farmers have been marooned by floods for five days in Merti District after the Ewaso Nyiro River burst its banks.

Kenya Red Cross Upper Eastern regional coordinator Daniel Damocha said rescue efforts were being made.

Mr Damocha said one child died in the floods in Marsabit District and 613 families were left homeless in Kalacha area, Maikona division.

He said over 2,000 families are in need of help after their houses were submerged and property washed away in Merti, Gafarsa, Muchuro, Kombolla, Iresaboru and Bassa.

Roads to Moyale from Marsabit are not navigable and more than 60 lorries are stuck in mud.

In Lower Tana Delta, more than 5,000 people were yesterday displaced as fears of a disease outbreak increased with rising water levels.

At least 14 villages were marooned and crops swept away as the River Tana continued to swell.

The Kenya Red Cross Society estimated that an additional 6,000 people at Asa location, 85km to the East of Garsen, were also marooned.

Area coordinator Gerald Bombe said his organisation and the Kenya Wildlife Service had helped evacuate more than 5,000 people from the river banks to safer places.

He said more than 1,500 Internally Displaced People near Minjila in Garsen needed sanitation facilities urgently as diarrhoea had been detected in Asa.

In Mumias District, over 700 people had their houses swept away after the river Nzoia burst its banks. They are camped at Shibale Primary school.

Mumias Police boss George Seda called on residents to move to higher ground.

Meanwhile, families affected by floods in Usonga have refused to move to evacuation centres, citing inadequate security for the property they would leave behind.

The families have opted to settle along the road to keep an eye over their crops and houses.

In Nyatike District, over 300 people have moved to higher ground after their homes were swept away.

The most affected villages in Central Kadem location are Nyora, Sere and Kabuto, Red Cross officials said.