7 killed in heavy rains

April 1, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, March 31 – Seven people have died in various parts of the country in incidents related to the ongoing heavy rains.

Two of them were children who were swept away by flash-floods in a displacement camp in Nakuru, police said.

Three others drowned when the River Nyando burst its banks over the weekend.

“We are warning residents to stay away from rivers that have burst their banks,” said Nyanza Police chief Antony Kibuchi.

Another man drowned in Nyamira district and yet another died after he was struck by lighting in the eastern district of Isiolo.

Cases of drowning are common during rainy seasons, particularly in Nyanza and Western Provinces.

In Rachuonyo and Nyando districts, more than 50 families were displaced and forced to spend the night in the cold after their houses were washed away.

Police said the houses and cattle suffered an onslaught after the Sondu Miriu and Nyando Rivers burst their banks on Sunday night.

Kibuchi appealed to residents to move to higher ground to avoid further loss of lives and property.
An estimated 3,000 people were at risk of being washed away by flash-floods in the region.

By Monday morning, affected families were camped at different sites within the two districts and police said they were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

“We are appealing to humanitarian organisations to move in and provide them with tents, food and other aid,” a senior police officer said.

Others who are at risk are the more than 150,000 people displaced from their homes during the post election violence that rocked the country in January and February following the disputed presidential election.

The initial number was 500,000, but most of them have since gone back home.

The families are now staying at camps set up for internally displaced persons in Nyanza, Rift Valley and Nairobi provinces.

Civil society organisations have urged the government to begin the resettlement programme to avert the looming crisis.

“Unless the government moves in to resettle these people, there will be a disaster. The families should be resettled as soon as possible,” said Tom Aosa, Chairman of the Community Based Organisations.


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