Over three hundred families have been displaced from their homes due to the floods that have hit most parts of Kwanza constituency in Trans Nzoia County whereby the banks of river Sabwani have burst due to the heavy rains pounding the area.
According to record given by the Kenya Red Cross officials in the county under the chairmanship of Ronald Masindano, 326 families have been displaced in Namanjalala, Marinda, Mukuyuni, Maridadi and Kapkoi areas of Kwanza constituency.
A visit by www.westfm.co.ke in the mentioned areas established that many homes have been flooded by water hence cannot be habitable anymore hence leading to the owners to relocate to safer grounds or areas.
Namanjalala area that is prone to the floods every year has seen most of its residents affected hence moving to the nearby Namanjalala market where they are staying in a building through the assistance of Red Cross and the county government.
“As you can see we are in a serious problem such that our homes have become dams and fishing ponds because the houses are inaccessible and in fact some of the houses have been flooded by water,” said Peter Simiyu as he looked after his children not to drown in the water.
Some of the houses especially the mud-walled have been brought down by the water and thus the owners have to rebuild once again if the situation shall normalize after the rains have subsided.
Mukuyuni village of Maridadi area is another one that is hard hit with villagers losing crops, livestock and property to the floods as they flew for safety.
You can also read, Floods in Budalangi force families out of homes.
Area MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi attributed the situation to the breaking of the walls of a dam build by the lake Basin at Kapsitwet area that had reduced the volume and speed of the water in River sabwani.
“This situation has become worse because we had build a dam here at Kapsitwet that had reduced the floods along river Sabwani but somebody went and dug the walls hence the water has gone back to the previous situation that is now wrecking havoc to our people,” Wanyonyi said.
He said that the situation needs urgent measures including restoring of the wall of the dam among others so that the residents can have peace in their homes calling on the national government to send in the National Youth Service team to restore the dam and rehabilitate others in the area.
Call for permanent relocation
However the residents have called for a permanent solution to the situation which they said has been recurring every year with no meaningful measures to address it apart from the short term relief that they get from Red Cross and county of national governments that vanish soon after the rains are over.
“We have been suffering for many years with these floods but our leaders have been coming and going with no permanent solution only to put us in buildings or schools in the meantime then leave us after the rains are over. We want the government to take this matter seriously the way it did for Budalangi and other areas,” Said Jane Nanjala at Mukuyuni village.
Kwanza MCA John Likovele supported the victims saying that the government should look for an alternative land to relocate them to and take over their flood-ridden land to use it otherwise with crops or projects that are familiar to flooded lands.
Also read, Floods cause untold havoc in Malaba border.
Likovele’s Keyo counterpart Emmanuel Waswa also called on Water and irrigation services cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa to give priority to the people of Trans Nzoia in addressing issues related to water bearing in mind that he hails from there.
“We are calling on Water CS Eugene Wamalwa who is our son to come in immediately and safe our people because as a CS he has all the responsibility to put up projects that can ensure that our people are safe and are not affected by the floods or any other effects,’ said Waswa.
County government gave aid worth Ksh. 5 million
In the meantime the county government of Trans Nzoia has released humanitarian aid worth Kshs 5 million to the affected families.
Deputy governor Dr. Stanley Kenei and County Executive Committee member for Gender, sports, youth, tourism and social services Eunice Chelimo Ndiwa confirmed that the county had purchased goods including food and non-food items for the affected families.
“The county government of Trans Nzoia has today released Kshs 5 million to mitigate the effects of the floods in Kwanza constituency after River Sabwani burst its banks,” said the governor.
He said that the money has been used to procured food stuffs and other essentials for the affected families.
Kenei further said that over 320 families had been displaced by the floods due to the overflow that has seen the river flow into villages displacing people and livestock as crops are also destroyed.
“So far more than 320 families have been affected and there are fears that the number may rise due to the continuing heavy rains that are pounding the area,” added Kenei as he handed over the aid to Kenya red Cross officials at the county offices in Kitale.
They said the items include mattresses, utensils, jerry cans, food stuffs such as maize meal, oil, sugar among others to aid them as they stay away from their homes.
However Dr. Kenei denied claims that the county government had received El-nino funds saying that all the counties never received the funds from the national government and thus the five million came from the county government’s interventions through its emergency kitty for disaster management.
The governor confirmed that the county government has relocated the affected families to nearby schools and churches including Namanjalala, Marinda, Soymining, Kapsitwet among others as further arrangements are made to relocate them to higher and safer grounds.
He therefore urged other stakeholders including companies and state corporations to also move in to assist the affected families and put in place measures to have the families secured.