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West Pokot landslides: Fallen bridges hamper relief efforts

Wednesday November 27 2019

Muruny Bridge collapsed

Muruny Bridge collapsed under the weight of a truck that was transporting sugar on November 27, 2019. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WYCLIFF KIPSANG
By WYCLIFF KIPSANG
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OSCAR KAIKAI
By OSCAR KAIKAI
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Humanitarian assistance to victims of West Pokot landslides has been hampered after the vital Muruny Bridge that connects Marich and Sigor collapsed on Wednesday.

The bridge collapsed under the weight of a truck that was ferrying sugar. Officials said no one was injured during the incident.

Many motorists were left stranded and aid agencies, who were en-route to distribute food and non-food items to the affected families had to cut their journey short.

Kenya Defence Forces soldiers airlifted relief supplies to Tamkal where some of the survivors are camping.

Kenya Defence Forces soldiers airlifted relief
Kenya Defence Forces soldiers airlifted relief supplies to Tamkal where some of the survivors are camping. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Meanwhile, the Kenya Red Cross said Wednesday that it has recovered 35 bodies following the tragedy and that 12 people are still missing.

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Nine people are missing in Tamkal and three at Parua, a senior Red Cross official based in West Pokot said.

The official said other figures are exaggerated.

The county government had put the figure of the victims at 58.

The official added that the rescue efforts are ongoing.

He said Chepera Bridge has also been destroyed by flood waters hindering the rescue mission.

Relief efforts were hampered Wednesday after
Relief efforts were hampered Wednesday after two bridges collapsed in West Pokot County. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

"Our volunteers and residents are forced to carry relief items on their heads,” said the official.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo appealed to the military to assist locate missing victims and repair damaged bridges.

"Families are agony and want to bury their loved ones," said Prof Lonyangapuo.

Soldiers airlift relief supplies to Tamkal on
Soldiers airlift relief supplies to Tamkal on November 27, 2019. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Some of those who have donated humanitarian aid to the affected people include, the Kenya Pipeline Company, Al-Khair Foundation and employees of KapeMatt supermarket.

On Tuesday a some governors visited the victims Mohammu Ali (Marsabit), Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), Ali Roba (Mandera) and Ahmed Muktar deputy governor (Wajir). They donated Sh2.5 million towards the humanitarian efforts. 

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