Wait for DNA results, Cheptulel mudslide victims told

Government wants to identify people genuinely affected by the mudslides in West Pokot

In Summary

• In April, flash floods swept through the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet. In Cheptulel at least 15 people lost their lives, many people missing.

• DNA testing needed because many body parts recovered.

The government is still conducting DNA tests on samples from those who lost their lives in the Cheputul mudslide and will pay compensation as soon as analysis is complete.

“Nobody is going to be left out," Central Pokot subcounty commissioner Simiyu Were told the Star on Thursday.

“We want to get genuine people who were affected by the slides before we commence compensation," he said.

In April flash floods occurred at Cheptulel along the West Pokot-Elgeyo Marakwet border, leaving more than 15 people dead and displacing more than 4,500 people.

Some estimates placed the death toll at more than 25.

In some places only body parts were recovered, making it difficult to establish the exact toll. DNA testing is required to establish identities.

Were said camps that were set up to shelter to those who were affected were closed after relatives took them in.

“The camps are officially closed," he said.

The commissioner appealed to well wishers to help displaced people since they still need financial assistance to resettle.

“We thank those who helped us when the tragedy occurred and I ask other well-wishers to continue supporting the families," Were said.

He urged residents to plant more trees during the rainy season to establish vegetation with roots that will hold the soil together and keep it from washing away.

Mudslides often occur in over-cultivated, deforested land and reclamation is necessary, Were said.

(Edited by V. Graham)