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September 26, 2018

EU donates Sh180 million to help flood victims

A woman carries her child as she walks near destroyed houses by flooding water after a dam burst, in Solio town near Nakuru, May 10, 2018. /REUTERS
A woman carries her child as she walks near destroyed houses by flooding water after a dam burst, in Solio town near Nakuru, May 10, 2018. /REUTERS

The European Union has donated Sh180 million in humanitarian funding to assist families devastated by floods across the country.

The funding will help provide emergency shelter and basic household essentials, emergency cash transfers, food, drinking water and renovate damaged water and sanitation facilities.

The cash will also go towards the provision of emergency health care and epidemics prevention.

“The European Union is saddened by the loss of life in Kenya from a dam burst in Solai and from extreme flooding in different parts of the country. The EU will do its part to assist the most affected by this tragedy,” EU’s Commissioner for Humanitarian aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said in a statement on Saturday.

The United Kingdom has also donated Sh156 million while the Dutch government has given Sh48 million towards the same venture.

Read: 40 still missing as Solai deaths hit 48

According to Kenya Red Cross, floods have to date killed 158 people and injured 80 others countrywide.

A total of 49,975 households - approximately 299,859 people - have been displaced.

Some 19,223 livestock have also been lost and about 21,741 acres of farmland with crops destroyed.

Red Cross said these effects are spread across 32 of 47 counties in the country.

President Kenyatta on Wednesday said an extra Sh1 billion will be made available to the Kenya Red Cross to continue with its relief work.

The amount is in addition to Sh1.5 billion that has already been set aside for this purpose.

The president said the funds will go towards supporting all Kenyans affected by rain-related calamities.

This includes rebuilding homes for those whose houses have been washed away.

“Let them (victims of recent calamities) know that my government will give every support in this moment of grief and difficulty, so that they can rebuild their lives and livelihood,” Uhuru said.

He spoke on Wednesday at the Moi Forces Academy, Eastleigh in Nairobi where he launched this year’s National Tree Planting Day and the Nairobi Clean-up campaign.

The head of State led Kenyans in observing a minute of silence in honour of the fallen compatriots.

"Indeed, every family in the Republic that has lost a loved one can rely on a similar guarantee from my government. We will stand with you; we will pray with you; we will support you. Wherever you are in the country, we are with you,” Uhuru said.

He thanked development partners who have supported relief efforts.

The flooding is likely to continue as the meteorological department has said heavy rainfall is forecast to continue for the coming weeks.

The latest flood-related calamity to claim lives occurred on Wednesday night in Solai, Nakuru County.

This was after the privately owned Patel dam broke its one-kilometer-long wall and swept hundreds of homes downstream.

By Saturday, the number of those confirmed dead stood at 48 with at least 40 others reported missing.

Government officials, however, projected that the death toll could rise to more than 100.

Read: Nakuru dam death toll could be higher - Matiangi

The high projection is premised on the fact that most people had already returned to their homes after the day’s activities and were caught unawares when tragedy struck at 9pm on the fateful night.

It is believed some bodies are still trapped in mud and silt residue along the burrows formed by the raging escaping waters.

Read: Fears many other dams unsafe after Solai tragedy

Also see: Uhuru mourns Solai 48 as state orders countrywide inspection of dams

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