, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – The military has been directed to help evacuate families that have been displaced by floods in various parts of the country.
While flagging off a military plane carrying five tonnes of assorted food items on Thursday, Deputy President William Ruto asked the provincial administration to ensure that those living in the low lands move to higher grounds.
He said that a helicopter would be sent to Tana River to airlift families that had been marooned by floods adding that 41 Kenyans who were rescued on Wednesday from Garissa were being resettled.
“We have asked citizens in areas prone to floods to move to higher grounds. All County Commissioners and District Commissioners have been mobilised,” he said.
“His Excellency (Uhuru Kenyatta) has also ordered the army to participate in this exercise and supply food to areas that have been cut off.”
Sixty three people have lost their lives while 35,000 others have been displaced following the heavy rains that have been pounding the country since last month.
Ruto further revealed that there were plans to establish a National Disaster Management Authority to deal with all emergency situations in the country.
A Sessional Paper to make the authority effective is already being drafted and will be tabled in Parliament soon.
“We have to eliminate guesswork and trial and error in the management of disasters in our country and as a result, a Sessional Paper will be tabled in the House shortly so that this authority is set up,” he explained.
The government had set aside Sh1.5 billion to address the aftermath of the rains.
On Thursday, 200 bags of rice, 100 bags of beans, 50 bales of food supplements, 50 cartons of cooking fat, medicine and mosquito nets were airlifted by military planes to Garbatula, Merti and Tana River.
Another 4,000 bags of maize, 14,000 bags of rice, 6,800 bags of beans, 2,100 cartons of cooking oil and 100 bales of food supplements have already been distributed to various parts of the country together with 2,300 blankets, 1,100 tarpaulins and 450 cartons of soap.
All the items are valued at Sh100 million.
“We have dispatched additional relief food to Turkana, Kilifi, Isiolo and Tana River Counties as well as 1,000 irons sheets to Isiolo County. We will also meet funeral expenses for some of the deceased persons,” said Ruto.
Turkana, Marsabit, West Pokot, Tana River, Kisii, Migori, Garissa, Mandera, Isiolo and Kilifi counties have been identified as the most affected.