Lonyangapuo on the spot over hiding landslides victims’ humanitarian items.

West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin
West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin

West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin has unearthed humanitarian aid items meant for landslides victims that were allegedly hidden and not given to the affected families by his predecessor John Lonyangapuo.

In 2019, residents of Nyarkulian,Tamkal and Parua  villages in the County were greatly affected by floods and landslides, which killed over 50 people, including children, who were swept away by the raging deluge .Thousands of people were displaced.

The County boss alleges that many items were stolen and diverted for other purposes hence the real victims did not benefit from the humanitarian aid.

A huge chunk of the humanitarian items meant for the victims from donors and organizations have not been delivered, 3 years on.

In the intervening period, the much-needed relief has been lying at the Governor’s residence. The items include clothing, water tanks and mattresses.

The County boss who took journalists to the Governor’s residence in Kapenguria on Thursday and showed them the remaining items alleged that some items were stolen and diverted for other purposes.

“It was a shame for Lonyangapuo to act in such a manner. It is disheartening, appalling and despicable that even iron sheets were diverted. The items were labeled belonging to landslides victims,” he said.

He said that diverting items for people who are suffering was unethical for a public servant.

“This shows how rotten the government we inherited. It has gone low to even hide donations and budgetary allocations. We have seen more than 30 bundles of clothes.

Kachapin said that Prof Lonyangapuo, who was defeated in the last polls, is the one to be blamed for the mess.

“I thank the Kenya Red Cross for working well. I remember I was a CAS in the Ministry of Energy and we donated 3 million shillings,” he said.

He questioned area MPs and former Members of County Assembly for failing to do proper oversight in the County.

The Governor said that the remaining items will be taken to the landslide victims.

“I will discuss with MCAs and I have directed that the same be delivered to the displaced families, whose houses were also extensively damaged by the heavy rains and subsequent landslides,” he said.

However, a senior staff in the disaster department who was in the  Lonyangapuo administration who sought anonymity  dismissed the allegations over theft and diverting of the items.

He said that victims benefited from the humanitarian aid.