15,000 flushed out of homes
Some 15,000 villagers in Tana River County have been driven out of their homes after River Tana burst its banks following heavy rains upstream.
Acting area district commissioner Anthony Macharia said the flood waters destroyed several homes and crops. Mr Macharia said the displaced families, currently living in 19 camps, urgently need relief food.
He said the families had received non-food aid such as tents and blankets from non-governmental organisations. He said congestion in the displaced persons camps could lead to an outbreak of water-borne diseases.
Most of the families affected are from Garsen and Tana Delta.
The administrator said he had requested the Ministry of Special Programmes to allow his office to distribute food lying in the National Cereals and Produce Board silos in Garsen to the affected families.
Last week, Special Programmes assistant minister Mohammed Gabbow told Parliament that the ministry had no money to compensate flood victims, adding that the country had been hit by several disasters in the last six months.
Mr Macharia warned residents against moving back to their homes as the rains upstream had not subsided. Kenya Red Cross personnel have moved to the area to help the flood victims.
Kone Mansa chief Ware Buruno said the area had been hard-hit by the floods, and villagers had been advised to move to higher grounds.
He said Odole, Mwanja and Samicha villages had been marooned by flood waters and residents forced to relocate to schools on higher grounds.
“We are not receiving heavy rains, the floods are mainly caused by increased water level in River Tana,” Mr Buruno told the Nation by phone on Tuesday.
He added that Riketa Village, which is located deep in the Tana Delta — with about 100 families — had been marooned by flood waters.
They were working to relocate the residents and their animals to safer areas, he said.
Mr Buruno said that efforts by humanitarian agencies to send relief aid to flood victims were hampered on Monday night after River Tana burst its banks at Kwa Ochieng area and cut off Chara-Ozi road, which is the only link to affected areas.
“We have advised the humanitarian agencies to consider setting up a supplies centre at Shirikisho Village in Chara location, which is closer to flood victims and can easily be accessed by canoes,” the chief said.
He added that about 50 herdsmen and 1,000 animals were also trapped in the area. Mr Hajj Dube Ababiya, a Mwanja Village elder, said that affected families urgently needed humanitarian help.
“Most of the affected families in this village have moved to higher grounds at Kalota, but there are a lot of mosquitoes there and they need nets to prevent malaria infections,” Mr Ababiya said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
Mr Mohammed Kone, a resident, said that flood victims were also exposed to dangerous animals such as snakes and crocodiles.
“Snakes and other dangerous crawling animals are also escaping to dry areas and people risk being bitten by snakes and attacked by crocodiles,” Mr Kone said.