After floods, disease stalks Kenyans

January 5, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 5 – The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) warned on Tuesday of a possible outbreak of water borne diseases following a series of floods in various parts of the country that have affected close to 70,000 Kenyans.

Secretary General Abbas Gullet said already, cases of diarrhoea had been reported in East Turkana as a result of the deluge.

“East Turkana borders very closely to East Pokot. If you remember only about three weeks ago, we had a serious outbreak of cholera in East Pokot where hundreds of people were affected and these are the same people at threat,” the KRCS boss said.

He however added that the diarrhoea reports were yet to be confirmed as cholera cases.

“There is plenty of stagnant water everywhere and we know majority of the rural persons are using untreated water,” Mr Gullet said.

He said the organisation now required about Sh30 million to restock the emergency relief aid to avoid running out of supply. 

“So far we have managed to use the international network of the Red Cross – Red Crescent worldwide but as Kenyans we must all take responsibility,” he said, and specifically challenged Members of Parliament to channel some of the monies in the Constituency Development kitty to relief operations.

“They have three to five million shillings each for emergencies, but do they use that money for emergencies?” he posed adding “so there are resources it is just a matter of how effectively we use them.”

Mr Gullet said of the 70,000 people affected nationally, 30,000 of them were in urgent need of assistance of which 20,000 were in Turkana district alone.

He pointed out that most of those affected and displaced by the current floods were part of communities still experiencing heightened food insecurity due to the prolonged drought that affected 3.8 million people in pastoral, agro-pastoral and marginal agricultural areas.

At least 34 people are feared dead across the country following the floods, with the highest deaths recorded in Turkana East and Rarieda.

Mr Gullet was addressing a press conference at the Kenya Red Cross headquarters where he flagged off relief items for 6,000 families in the affected areas.


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