Lamu flood victims in dire need of food, medicine

Ehiopia's River Lagwarera burst its banks last month flooding counties in northern Kenya

In Summary

• Residents have been barred from crossing to either side of Lamu Island after parts of the Hindi-Kiunga Road and several bridges were swept away. 

• They appeal for mosquito nets to protect pregnant women and children from mosquitoes breeding in the floods. 

Some 70 families affected by floods in Lamu county are in dire need of food and medical aid. 

Hunger-stricken residents said it's impossible for food trucks to access their village while they cannot also leave the village to go buy food and medication.

River Lagwarera in neighbouring Ethiopia burst its banks last month, flooding counties in northern Kenya including Lamu, Moyale and Marsabit.

In Lamu, villages bordering the Boni Forest have been worst affected among them Bodhei, Milimani, Mangai and Mararani.

Tens of houses have also been swept away and locals are appealing to the government and well-wishers to supply them with tents and bedding. 

“No one can come to the villages and no one can leave. Our biggest problem is food. We also need medication," Sani Hamesa of Bodhei said.

"The daring ones have tried to swim across, which is very dangerous as one can drown." 

Transport has been paralysed and residents are unable to cross to either side of the island after parts of the Hindi-Kiunga Road and several bridges were swept away.

The road is the only connection between the affected villages and the rest of sub-counties in Lamu East and West. 

Pregnant women and children are the most affected by the situation as they cannot access medical facilities for prenatal care and delivery. 

All health facilities in these areas were grounded after they were vandalised and looted by al Shabaab militants in 2014 and residents rely on KDF camps in their areas which are about 46 kilometres away.

“Now we can’t even access the camps. Pregnant women as suffering as they can’t attend monthly clinics. There's nothing they can do apart from waiting for the floods to subside,” Bodhei resident Maryamu Bini said.

They are also appealing for mosquito nets and water treatments. 

“The floods have brought along so many mosquitoes. Malaria has become the order of the day for us. We also need water treatments to purify water as we have been consuming the floodwater," Muhamed Abul said.

Edited by R.Wamochie