Kenyan floods leave 3 more dead

January 7, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) on Wednesday reported three more deaths in Turkana East following heavy rains that have hit the country.

According to KRCS Communication Manager Titus Mung’ou additional figures of those affected in the South Rift Region were recorded. Already 30,000 people are said to have been displaced by the floods.

“There have been three more deaths confirmed in Turkana East and an increase in the number of those affected.  Also note the arrival of relief supplies in Lokori in Turkana,” he said.

He said four more divisions in Turkana East were still inaccessible.

The KRCS on Tuesday said 21 people had died due to the floods while the police have reported 35 deaths.

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting to discuss the floods crisis in the country blamed the meteorological department for the devastation witnessed in the country.

The Crisis Response Centre which met at Prime Minister Raila Odinga\’s office on Wednesday afternoon said predictions made the government to direct disaster preparedness efforts elsewhere, where floods did not actually occur.

“The meteorological department gave the government a comprehensive report about the anticipated weather patterns, it did not follow the pattern that had been predicted.  This has hit other areas which were not in the scope given to us by out weather men,” Prime Minister Raila Odinga said.

He said the government had rolled out emergency response teams to the affected areas. The teams will comprise National Youth Service, military and other relevant ministries.

He said they will help with the rescue measures, constructions of dams and also repair roads which have been destroyed.

The Premier said the Roads Ministry required Sh1 billion to deal with the damage caused by the floods. He said roads worth Sh500 million had been destroyed exhausting all the money set aside to improve roads in the country.

Despite the negative impact, he said the government was expecting good harvests in the country with areas worst hit by drought last year already showing improvement in food production.

As one of the response measures the Ministry of Public Health dispatched medical and water supplies worth Sh4.8 million to avert a possible cholera outbreak in flood affected areas.

Minister Beth Mugo said the supplies target about 20,000 persons in Turkana who were at high risk of contracting the water borne disease due to the series of floods that have afflicted the area.

The consignment consists of water quality testing kits, water treatment tablets, cholera kits and other items.

“We have also lined up more supplies and the total cost is Sh11.8 million. The problem is immense… we are coming from drought to floods and vice versa so the problem is not really ending,” Mrs Mugo said.

“But I am hoping that the emergency funding we have requested from Treasury of Sh700 million will be forthcoming soon,” she added.

The Minister said although no cholera cases had been reported yet, it could not rule out the possibility of the disease outbreak.

Kenya has been experiencing an upsurge of cholera outbreaks for the last eight months affecting 53 districts.

Although the situation was under control, it remained persistent in Turkana.

“I would also like to enlist support of the local leaders particularly Members of Parliament, councillors, chiefs in holding barazas (public gatherings) and educating our people on simple hygiene measures especially in areas where we have flooding,” she said.


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