After three years of waiting, it is now a sigh of relief for landslides victims in West Pokot County as they receive donation items which had allegedly been hidden by the former County regime.
The County Government which has taken measures to improve in terms of preparedness has now embarked on disbursing the items to the victims
The aid was meant for 2019 floods and landslide victims that happened in three villages of Muino,Parua and Nyarkulian villages but it was discovered stored at the governor’s residence in Kapenguria town after the 2022 general election.
The disaster killed over 50 people, including children, who were swept away by the raging deluge .Thousands of people were displaced.
During landslide disaster, donors and humanitarian organizations had responded to the calamity by distributing food, clothing, wheelchairs, utensils, mats, water tanks, crutches, and mattresses, but it was shocking to discover that some of the items had not been distributed to the victims by the former county administration.
“A’m happy to have received the items because we have suffered for a long time. We were badly affected by the landslides and even some people are still homeless,” said Jane Johnson, a resident.
West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin who flagged off the items and disbursed them to the Tamkal area vowed not to allow hiding of items meant for the public during his tenure.
“It was shocking to discover items that were meant for 2019 flood and landslide victims stored at the governor’s residence in Kapenguria town,” he expressed.
He noted that it is sad that three years after the tragedy, some of the donations have not been delivered to the flood and landslide victims of Nyarkulian, Parua, and Muino Locations.
The governor pointed out that donations, including water tanks, clothes, utensils, mats, crutches, and wheelchairs, were found stored at the governor’s residence when he came to office last year.
He said the donations he had released would be distributed to the vulnerable victims who were injured during the disaster.
The governor lauded the donors and humanitarian organizations, including the Red Cross, the UNHCR, NGOs, and other partners, for their support during the disaster, while assuring them that such hoarding of items meant for members of the public would not happen again.
West Pokot County Deputy Governor Robert Komole said that when he asked the previous regime why they hadn’t distributed the donations to the victims, he said they didn’t get a relevant reason that led to the items not being distributed.
He noted that even though the previous government hadn’t distributed the donations, the administration of Governor Kachapin would distribute them to the victims, noting that it was unfair for the donations not to be distributed when the well-wishers had released them for donations.
Mr Komole disclosed that, when he was a Member of County Assembly (MCA), the county government did not have a budget for disaster preparedness.