Thousands of people are still stuck in flood-marooned villages in Lamu and Tana River counties and are in dire need of humanitarian aid. In Tana River alone, authorities confirmed that more than 64,000 people have been affected. “Thousands are still held in the interior.
Waterborne diseases and pneumonia have started affecting those in camps,” said Bura MP Ali Wario. Local Maendeleo Ya Wanawake (MYW) official Caroline Kode said women and children are facing difficulties in accessing essential personal needs such as sanitary pads and diapers.
“Women here are suffering in silence because some of these important personal effects are easily forgotten in such a situation; we ask the government to assist in that area,” she said.
Tana Delta sub-county Education director Geoffrey Munguti said most schools in the area have been turned into camps for the displaced with many more needing help as some of the camps cannot be accessed by relief lorries ferrying relief food due to damaged roads.
He said the area has around 25,000 primary school children but learning has been paralysed. “Some schools have opened but most learners cannot access schools because rivers are flooded,”he said.
Coast Regional Co ornidator Bernard Lemparmarai, who toured affected areas assured victims of the government’s support. He directed that learners in 18 schools that have been closed down, be relocated to safer schools and continue with their learning uninterrupted.
He toured Garsen and Laza Primary Schools where he appealed to local authorities to organise committees to oversee relief food supply and ensure the food goes “only to victims.”
“The government has enough relief food to stand with you no matter how long the problem persists. Please when you get this don’t sell, consume slowly with your families,” he said at Laza Primary School in Hola Tana River, where he distributed 1,716 bags of rice 3,717 bags of maize, 621bags of beans, 182 cartons of cooking oil equivalent to 3,276 liters alongside several non food items.
But Ali Mbaraka, a victim who is seeking refuge at Mkunumbi Primary School said relief food is inadequate as victims are being given very little to share amongst themselves.
“Each village or Manyatta gets about 4 bags of rice to share which is not enough for say 200 people. At Mkunumbi in Lamu, pastoralist communities said grazing has become difficult since the entire region had been reduced to a waterlogged swamp.
“We have nowhere to graze our livestock. All the grass that we relied on is now under water,” said Abdi Ahmed, a herder in Mkunumbi. The residents said local mosques are also flooded even as the holy month of Ramadhan inches closer. “We cannot even pray in the mosque now because of floods,” said Musa Ramadhan.