Kenya

Victims mostly feeding on fish, which are in plenty

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In Summary

  • Nearly 1,500 people have been displaced by floods in Muhoroni sub-county.

  • The announcement comes barely a week after reports indicated cases of children ill with waterborne diseases in Kasese in Muhoroni.

By SHARON ODHIAMBO AND RUTH NDERITU

The Kisumu county government has procured drugs to fight cholera and other waterborne diseases in flood-hit areas.

Nearly 1,500 people have been affected by floods last Monday in Kisumu County.

Speaking to Nation on Saturday during an assessment tour of the affected areas, county public health officer Elias Nyambok said the drugs were to cushion spread of the disease should it occur.

“The county government is aware of how dangerous floods can be. As a county we are prepared to handle any health emergencies that might come our way,” he said.

An assessment report carried by the Red Cross indicated that most of the children and elders were likely to suffer diseases because of lack of food.

“The victims are mostly feeding on fish because they are in plenty, with the rains the fish is in plenty,” said Mr Emmanuel Owako, Kenya Red Cross Western Coordinator.

Mr Nyambok said the county in partnership with Red Cross will also provide water treatment chemicals to prevent consumption of contaminated water.

“We have already distributed mosquitoe nets to the communities which was a big issue since malaria is mostly associated with this kind of disaster,” he said. Mr Nyambok said they had noted dumpiness in the affected areas which he said might trigger respiratory infections among the residents. The announcement comes barely a week after flood victims expressed fear over an outbreak of water borne diseases mainly affecting children and the elderly. Mr Nyambok said the assessment was also part of measures to avert possible deaths if floods occurred again. “It is of significance for the department to be informed of any potential danger so that we can strategise effectively,” said Mr Nyambok.

When nation.co.ke visited Kasese Village in Muhoroni, one of the worst hit areas, on Thursday, we received complaints from mothers saying their children had contracted water-borne diseases.

WOKEN BY RAGING WATERS

Ms Jecinter Awino, who had been woken up by the raging waters last Saturday said her two daughters have not been able to recover from the trauma since.

“One of them a class one pupil has been so traumatised and does not sleep with peace of mind since she fears she might be rained on. I took her to the hospital she was diagnosed of malaria,” she said.

Her other daughter and husband have not been able to get a place to sleep.

Another victim, Ms Marita Atieno has since taken her grandchildren to her brother’s home.

“I have never had peace since the rain began; my grandchildren are very sick, the other day I took two of them to the hospital for treatment, yesterday the other one was sick as well,” she said.

Mr Owako said they have determined the prevalence of some of the water borne diseases in areas of Nyando, Nyakach, Muhoroni and Kisumu East sub counties.

As a result, he said health facilities around the areas have been stocked with drugs to enable them manage the situation.

“There are farms that were swept away, schools affected, roads affected so we are bringing the Ministry of Infrastructure, Agriculture, Education and public health and disease surveillance,” he said.

Another victim, Ayub Adul said he was afraid that her neighbours’ children were sick which may attack his children as well.

“I am hoping that they do not get sick, I am alone and I fear that it might be a torture to them, the mother went home and she is not yet back,” he said.

However, he expressed fear that should the rains persist more people are likely to suffer as the capacity of the rescue centres is small.

“We will have a problem with the numbers and the hygiene as well, the toilets are not in good state,” said Mr Owako.

Ms Rose Nyamunga, Kisumu County women Representative, urged the residents to move to higher grounds immediately they sense danger.

“We are going to work together with other volunteer so that we do not record any deaths from floods,” she said.