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May 21, 2018

Help Tana River despite Solai dam tragedy, urges senator

 Kenya Red Cross officials offloading non food items for flood victims at Idsowe bridge In Tanadelta during floods intervention on May 3./ALPHONCE GARI
Kenya Red Cross officials offloading non food items for flood victims at Idsowe bridge In Tanadelta during floods intervention on May 3./ALPHONCE GARI

The government has been asked to allocate more funds to help 64,000 flood victims in Tana River.

Tana River Senator Juma Wario yesterday said the victims were facing a crisis. Floods have destroyed homesteads and crops and swept away livestock. Those displaced are living in IDP camps.

“We want the government to resettle all the victims. They need cash to construct new houses and begin their lives afresh,” Wario said.He spoke at Idsowe after touring some of the 108 IDP camps in the county.

The government has allocated Sh2.5 billion to help flood victims countrywide. The cash includes Sh1 billion donated by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The European Union has donated Sh180 million.

Wario asked the government to remember Tana River victims.

“It would be unfair if the national government only focuses on the Solai Dam tragedy in Nakuru. Thousands are also suffering in Tana River,” Wario said.

At least 48 people died after a dam burst and swept away a village in Solai on Wednesday last week.

Wario said many villages were still surrounded by water and residents rely solely on humanitarian aid. “There is a huge crisis in Tana River. Many children in camps are already suffering from diarrhoea,” he said.

Some schools were flooded and others turned into IDP camps. Wario also asked the government to reconstruct schools where roofs were blown off by high winds.

“Many schools are yet to reopen,” the lawmaker said. At least three health centres cannot operate after they were flooded.

Floods have claimed 158 lives since April when heavy rains began. Some 300,000 people have been displaced. Tana River and Kilifi are among the worst-affected counties with 64,045 and 21,318 IDPs, respectively.

Another 16,800 have been left homeless in Taita Taveta. Lamu has 2,498 displaced people. The IDPs have been receiving assistance from the Red Cross, national government and humanitarian organisations.

Wario said the victims will require assistance for three months. Last month, the county appealed for help, saying the disaster was beyond its capacity.

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