As Kenya reels from drought, floods kill 9

August 15, 2011 3:52 pm



The affects of previous floods/FILE


NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – Nine people were killed on Monday morning after their Public Service Vehicle was swept away by floods in Turkana West district.

A local administrator told Capital News that those killed were travelling in a matatu from Lokichogio to Kakuma, when the vehicle was swept away by floods at Nawoton area at about 5am.

“We have been able to recover five bodies, but the rest are still missing,” area District Commissioner Eric Wanyonyi said.

He said rescuers had not recovered the four bodies by Monday afternoon.

Mr Wanyonyi said the matatu driver and four other people survived after swimming through the raging floods.

Heavy rains have been pounding Turkana West district since last week, in complete contrast to a drought devastating neighbouring districts worst hit by famine.

Similar floods were reported in Muhoroni district where at least 3,000 families are reported to have been displaced and crops destroyed.

Area Member of Parliament Professor Ayiecho Olweny said his constituents risked joining the more than 3.5 million Kenyans facing starvation in the country, unless the government urgently intervenes.

Prof Olweny said rice farmers were the most affected after their crops were washed away by heavy rains in the area since last week.

Residents in the area were counting massive losses after flash floods washed away their crops, mainly rice fields.

Prof Olweny is now calling on the Kenya Red Cross society to urgently step in and assist his constituents, most of who have been forced to spend nights in the cold.


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