Raila orders floods master plan

November 12, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, November 12 – The government on Wednesday directed the Ministries of Water, Energy and Regional Development to formulate a plan to counter perennial floods in low lying parts of the country.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga said this was part of measures to mitigate the effects of floods in the country and seek a lasting solution to the recurrent phenomenon.

“More investment needs to be made in this field of flood control so that it doesn’t recur every year. That is why these ministries are working on modalities to come up with both immediate and long-term remedial measures in dealing with problems afflicting flood prone areas,” Mr Odinga said.

The Premier said the government was concerned by the recurrence of flash floods during the rainy seasons and was committed to alleviating suffering among residents.

Mr Odinga however censured past regimes for spending resources on duplicate feasibility studies on flood prone areas without implementing the proposed projects. He regretted that seven studies had been conducted on the Nyando and Nzoia River beds since 1951 but neither the recommendations nor the flood mitigation designs were implemented.

“Something has to be done to put an end to the floods in Budalangi,” he stressed.

The PM told a press conference in Nairobi that it was time flood waters were harnessed and put to better use.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Red Cross estimates that over 300,000 Kenyans could be affected by the current floods caused by torrential rains in the country.

According to Public Relations Officer Titus Mong’ou, the situation in Western and Nyanza regions continued to worsen, with over 1,000 households being forced out of their homes to camps.

Mr Mong’ou told Capital News that the agency would launch a preliminary appeal for humanitarian assistance on Thursday as part of its response to the situation.

He said the situation was worse in North Eastern Province where the Red Cross team had to use aerial services to asses the situation.

“Over 600 farms have been submerged in Ramu area, and also close to 1,000 people in the area will face problems with regard to harvesting and planting for the next season because of the floods.”


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