With over 200 lives lost, thousands of other Kenyans displaced and property worth millions of shillings destroyed by the floods following heavy rains that have pounding various parts of the country, the national and county governments have been urged to work together in finding a lasting solution to the perennial floods in the country.
Speaking when he donated foodstuffs and non – food items to about 100 victims of floods in Lugari sub county, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) director of communication Mr. Philip Etale said it was regrettable that the country has not been able to come up with a “concrete plan” for tackling the problem years after Independence.
Pitying the pathetic conditions the displaced families were living in, Etale said it is high time the government came up with permanent solutions to the annual cycle of deluge and destruction in the country.
He said thousands of Kenyans were suffering as a result of floods and needed immediate help, relief and permanent remedial measures.
“Various parts of the country have continued witnessing floods year after year, but this is not the time to play the blame game, it’s time for remedy, relief and compensation. Thousands of people have been displaced and are living in the so-called shelter homes with minimum or no facilities. It’s pathetic,” said Etale while addressing flood victims at Nambayi primary school in Chevaywa ward where they sought refuge after Nzoia river broke its bank.
He said though the floods cannot be completely controlled but the government should work on measures that will reduce the damages caused.
“The plan has to incorporate the fact that climate change is real, we might have more unpredictable showers and rains time to time we therefore need to find out how it can be channelized as you cannot control a river in its entirety, it can only be channelized so that if not none, fewer lives are affected by the floods,” said Etale.
He urged the government to think of putting up dykes along all major rivers and stream as well as renovating and constructing of dams as one of the measures that will help in controlling floods.
The problem has reached our doorstep and we are “unintelligent” if we don’t realize it. Maybe it has not yet come to your doorstep but it will come to your children’s doorstep in future, we therefore need a long term solution that will save our people,” he said.
Etale who visited several families affected by floods within Lugari constituency after Rivers Nzoia and Kipkaren broke their banks donated bags of maize, sugar, soaps cooking oil among other necessities to the flood victims.