GARISSA VILLAGES SUBMERGED

Flood victims camp on roadside as they wait for help

Red Cross listing casualties in temporary IDP camps before it can provide necessary humanitarian aid

In Summary

Human faeces from pit latrines float, laying bare the health risks that accompany floodwaters

Dsiplaced residents of Kamkunji on the roadside at Mororo trading centre after their village was flooded on Tuesday, November 26, 2019
IDPS: Dsiplaced residents of Kamkunji on the roadside at Mororo trading centre after their village was flooded on Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

 

Desperate Garissa families displaced by floods have camped on roadsides as heavy rains continue to wreak havoc.

More than 400 families have camped at Mororo trading centre as they wait for humanitarian help.

Women, children and the elderly are among victims even as the weatherman warns the heavy rains might continue into mid-December.

Hamisis Bakari said they started moving out of Kamkunji on Monday evening after floodwaters reached their homes.

He said the waters rose fast and their homes got submerged.

“We started mobilising youth to help move household goods to safer grounds. But we dint know where to so we resorted to camping by the roadside,”  Bakari said.

Kamukunji is one of the villages that have been flooded.

“It is unfortunate that we have not heard from the government or any organisation for help or where to relocate. We had to spend the night in the cold,” he said.

The Star visited the affected villages and found houses submerged in floodwaters. Waste from pit latrines were floating, indicating the health risks that accompany flashfloods.

Most houses are made of mud with sewerage systems in the villages.

Hadija Maimuna, a mother of five, said they could not sleep as they were trying to protect their children from the harsh weather.

“As you can see, the ground is wet and you cannot even light a fire to keep the place warm. We don’t have mosquito nets and we fear our children might contract malaria,” she said.

She added, “it seems the government is not in a hurry to assist us as they did two years ago. I want to imagine the government is either fatigued or it's concentrating its resources on other more important issues."

On Monday, Kenya Red Cross coordinator for Northeastern region Mohamed Abdikadir said that they were listing all the victims already in temporary IDP camps to provide the necessary assistance.

He said the listing was necessary to avoid a repeat of the 2017 scenario when non-eligible people masquerading as victims ended up receiving aid at the expense of genuine casualties.

 

edited by peter obuya