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Hunger looms in West Pokot as floods sweep away crops

Monday May 11 2020

Ms Juliet Nafula

Ms Juliet Nafula inspects her flooded farm following floods which have hit several villages in West Pokot after River Suam burst its banks. Residents have appealed to the government to repair dykes which were destroyed by the raging floods. PHOTO | OSCAR KAKAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OSCAR KAKAI
By OSCAR KAKAI
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Farmers and residents living along the River Suam in West Pokot County are counting huge losses as hunger looms after their crops and property were destroyed by floods.

Dykes built along the river have been damaged, bridges destroyed and banks have burst following the torrential rainfall pounding the area.

Over 200 families have been affected by the floods with water flowing into people’s homes and farms.

DISASTER LOOMS

The river burst its banks, destroying the dykes built 10 years ago and creating fear of a looming disaster.

Among the affected villages area Lomutoto, Lorsuk, Lotupuk and Simotwo.

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West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo, who visited the area Sunday, said that the floods along the river damaged 12 bridges from Mt Elgon up to Turkwel. Another 24 foot bridges were destroyed.

He said the rains have turned disastrous, displacing people and destroying thousands acres of farms.

LANDLOCKED

“We are completely landlocked,” Prof Lonyangapuo said.

He called on the national government to repair the destroyed bridges and the dykes.

“Engineers from the Public Works ministry did estimates, drawings and designs,” he said.

Prof Lonyangapuo called on the ministry to speed up the commencement of the remaining river protection works under phase two.

“There is need for emergency funds from the government. It will be even hard for children to go to school when they open,” he said.

REPAIR DYKES

Mr Gorge Topoti, a victim, called on the government to help them and repair the dykes.

“Our farms have been completely washed away. Our livestock have been swept away by the water,” he said.

Another victim, Ms Juliet Nafula, said that the floods have destroyed all crops in farms.

“All our tomatoes, bananas, maize and vegetables were destroyed,” she said.

Former councillor Joseph Tomitom said that residents are now living in fear.

“We are worried because our houses are filled with water. There is need to raise the dykes,” he said.

Suam MCA David Alekulem said that over 4,000 people have been affected and called on well-wishers to help the affected families.

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