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Residents seek help as Kwale’s Vanga Town is cut off by floods

Sunday April 17 2016
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Residents of Tsuini wade through a flooded section to their homes in Lunga Lunga, Kwale County. They are appealing to the government and the Kenya Red Cross to come to their aid as the situation continues to worsen. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By FAROUK MWABEGE

River Umba which flows from Tanzania has burst its banks due to heavy rains cutting off Vanga Town from other villages in Kwale’s Lunga Lunga Sub County.

For the last four days there is no vehicle which has been moving in or out of the town as the water continuous overflowing hence leaving locals devastated.

Speaking to the Nation in Tsuini Village on Saturday, Kioko Mawia said there are over 40 villages which have been submerged forcing locals to relocate to higher ground.

He added that they were living at the mercy of God as water levels were slowly rising even in the areas they had relocated to.

“We are calling for support from well-wishers because we are really suffering.

“Although there is no one who has died we have lost our cows, goats and chickens,” he said.

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Similarly, Shedrack Mutevu, who is a member of the community policing group, said the situation had made it hard for them to move around in search of food as some areas are infested with crocodiles.

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Residents of Tsuini Villagers cross a flooded section of the Vanga-Lunga Lunga road on April, 16 2016. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

FEARS LOCALS WILL STARVE

Mr Mutevu expressed his fear that should the situation remain the same for the next few days, some locals might start dying of hunger as they cannot even access the shops.

“There is no one who has come to our rescue, not even the elected leaders. As I speak right now I have not even taken tea and if I continue speaking I might start shedding tears,” he said.

Aron Mutuku, another resident, said it was not the first time for the locals who solely depend on agriculture to encounter such an ordeal yet a permanent solution was yet to be reached.

He asked the national government to intervene, saying the county government had neglected them by not making any effort to construct the road leading to Vanga from Lunga Lunga.

Mr Mutuku accused Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya and his county government of staying in their comfort zones without putting into consideration the suffering that locals were going through.

“These leaders were elected so that they could lead and help us but where are they? We need help, otherwise come next elections we are not going to give them those votes anymore,” he said.

Separately, Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani confirmed that the situation was deplorable adding that he was also among those who were affected as he could not access his house.

He promised to present the issue in Parliament for the government to offer a permanent solution to end the problem which he said has persisted for several years.

“I have spoken to the director of NYS and he said by Monday they will be here and they will try their best to contain the situation as we look for a permanent solution,” he said.

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