DESTITUTE FAMILIES

Flood victims’ children yet to report to school

Parents say uniforms were swept away by floods and that their homes remain inaccessible

In Summary

'The majority of us are virtually destitute and it will take several months before we recover' 

Flood victims at Maramtu IDP camp protest to demand food aid
NOT HAPPY: Flood victims at Maramtu IDP camp protest to demand food aid
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

 

Children camping at Maramtu in Garissa are yet to report to school for the first term because they don't have uniforms.

Their families were displaced from their homes by floods and are still living in IDP camps. Schools reopened countrywide on Monday.

But parents at the Maramtu camp said their children were unable to go to school because their uniforms were swept away by December floods.

Speaking at the camp on Thursday, about 150 parents told reporters their farms were destroyed and homes still remain inaccessible after they were flooded.

Marian Abdullahi said most of them depended on irrigation farming. 

“We lost all the crops that were ripe and ready for the market. Most of the families here have not gone back to the farms because they remain inaccessible,” Marian said.

“The majority of us are virtually destitute and it will take several months before we recover.” 

Hussein Ramadhan said that the flood victim’s woes have been compounded by the failure by the national government and aid agencies to recognise their IDP camp.

“Immediately we moved into the camp, we took the list of the victims to the area chief and we are yet to receive any assistance,” Ramadhan said.

He said the Kenya Red Cross supplied non-food items including tents and mosquito nets to nearby camps but not to Maramtu victims.

They urged the county government to provide seedlings to the farmers and asked aid agencies to assist the victims with food and other basic necessities.

The victims criticised the government's handling of their plight, saying in previous years, the state had often supplied food that lasted for a month.

In one camp for example, the victims said that they were given food that only lasted for three days.

“Unfortunately the government seems to look the other way and never really come to our aid. We have been left to suffer on our own,” a victim said.

edited by peter obuya