Government prepared for potential flood disaster in Western Kenya
Written by Frankline Bwire and Leonard Wamalwa
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A man wades in water in Budalang'i constituency the last time floods invaded homes in the area. Bunyala DC says they are prepared to deal with any arising situation of floods. Photo/ Frankline Bwire.
Bunyala District Commissioner Khalif Ali has assured Budalang’i residents that the government is fully prepared to deal with any situation that might arise as a result of floods in the area.
Ali said that besides the rehabilitation exercise of dykes in the area, the district disaster management team has identified several evacuation centres that will accommodate affected families in case of floods following heavy rains pounding most parts of the country.
He said they have five standby vehicles from the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPCC) with two from the district disaster management team that will be used in the evacuation exercise.
“We also have six boats bought by the government which will be used in ferrying those individuals who will be marooned if at all the floods will arise,” said Ali.
The DC also revealed that food rations are already in the store, ready for the distribution exercise in case of the floods.
The NWCPCC’s officer in charge of floods engineer Simon Mbugua expressed satisfaction that the repair works of dykes done in the area was of quality both on the Southern and the Northern dyke.
“The residents have started constructing houses in areas where they had been ejected by water the last time floods washed away their homes,” said the engineer.
Namanjalala residents told to seek refuge to higher ground
In Trans Nzoia County, a red flag has been raised to the people of Namanjalala in kwanza district who have been urged to take precautionary measures to avoid being got up by the looming floods.
Kwanza District Commissioner Gabriel Risie said that the residents who are always displaced by the floods each year should take individual initiatives to start moving to higher and safer grounds other than waiting to for the river to break banks and wreck havoc to them.
“We are calling upon the residents to move out of the affected areas along the River Sabwani so that they do not suffer the tragic activities and losses that are always accompanied by the floods that are likely to occur during the ongoing rains,” the DC told West FM via phone.
He said that despite the government and Non-Governmental Organizations –NGOs having measures to step in whenever there are calamities, the victims should not stay till the water knocks at their doors.
Risie said that he had directed administrators and other leaders and stakeholders in the area to sensitize the people on the ground on the essence of taking precautionary measures in relation to the disasters.
Namanjalala area just like other flood-prone areas like Budalangi and others has in the recent past experienced serious effects of floods with over 4000 families being affected and properties lost.
According to local administrators, the most affected villages include Sabwani, Maliki and Nasianda whose houses and crops are always swept by the water during such seasons.
However, concerns have been raised on how the government has been handling the flood issues in the area as compared to the attention given to other areas such as Budalangi and others.
During last year’s October rains that displaced the families, several local leaders called on the government to put in place proper measures of solving the matter by either relocating the residents to an alternative land or building dykes and other flood-control measures in the area.
Surprisingly to date nothing has been done and here we are starting to narrate the same stories that we did and shall do year-in-year-out until may be when county governments shall take up such matters to save their county residents as the central government seems to have failed.