RIVER TANA DISPLACEMENT

Garissa-Mororo flood victims appeal for help

They have been in camps for five days; accuse the government of abandoning them after their homes were submerged.

In Summary

• The 1,006 families relocated from their homes on Sunday after the government issued a warning.

• The seven camps include Hyuga Primary, Young Muslim, Kazuku, Nep Technical, Farmers Training Camp and Government Technical.

A boy stands next to their makeshift house in a Ziwani camp, Garissa
DISPLACEMENT A boy stands next to their makeshift house in a Ziwani camp, Garissa
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Thousands of families displaced by floods along River Tana have yet to get help five days later.

The residents of Garissa and neighbouring Mororo moved out of their homes on Sunday as floodwaters raged. The government urged them to relocate to safe grounds after the river burst its banks. That was the last time they heard from the authorities.

The 1,006 families have camped at Hyuga Primary, Young Muslim, Kazuku, Nep Technical, Farmers Training Camp and Government Technical.

Yesterday, they accused the government of ignoring their plight, with some saying all their households were swept away.

Mohamed Bakari said they heeded the government’s call and moved out of their homes with the hope that they would get swift assistance.

“We heeded the government’s advice to relocate to safe grounds, but five days down the line, we have seen people from the NGO world come to list us but nothing has been forthcoming,” he said.

“We urgently need tents, mosquito nets and relief food, among other basic requirements. Most of us have poor family backgrounds and they have exhausted the little food they had.”

Bakari, a father of six, said this was the first time the government has been very slow in responding to flood tragedies.

Mororo chief Mohamed Abdalla said the camps have running water and toilets but the victims are in dire need of food and other items. 

A senior government official who spoke on condition of anonymity said food had been acquired for the victims but they faced a logistical nightmare and could not deliver it.

“I really can’t tell when the food will finally be distributed, but by Friday, the food will have started trickling in,” he said.

Red Cross regional coordinator Mohamed Abdikadir said the organisation will start distributing non-food items from Friday.

“As Red Cross, we are currently involved in medical outreach services and hygiene promotions to prevent an outbreak of diseases,” he said.

(Edited by F'Orieny)