BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,6TH MAY,2020-194 people have been killed by floods in Kenya since last month.
30 of them died since Tuesday, washed away by floods in various parts of the country where heavy rains are being experienced.
“Since yesterday, we have lost 30 people in the last 44 hours,” Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said, “now in total 194 lives have been lost.”
Most affected parts are around River Nyando, River Nzoia, River Tana and parts of Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot.
“We are appealing to residents around these areas to move out,” he said.
As a result, thousands of families have been displaced, with many more set to be uprooted from their homes.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said security forces have started moving people in flood-prone areas to safer grounds following imminent danger posed by the ongoing rains across the country.
“We have no option but to move them out by force,” Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said, “that is already going on in affected areas in Garissa and Tana River.”
“This is a disaster and we cannot keep pleading with our people to move out, we must move them out,” he said.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said dams have full to capacity in unprecedented levels across the country.
“We have never witnessed this and that is not a good sign,” he said, “people must move.”
Information and Communications Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the Meteorological Department will be issuing regular weather alerts, effective Wednesday and has urged the media to disseminate the information.
He said the government has already disbursed cash transfer to vulnerable families across the country and will include those displaced as a result of floods.
The Cabinet Secretaries who addressed a press conference from the Meteorological Department on Wednesday said there is looming danger, because most people are not heeding to government directives to move.
With the COVID -19 pandemic, the government said there are plans to provide free masks to vulnerable communities displaced by the floods.
According to the Kenya Metrological Department, the heavy rains are expected to continue until end of May- with parts Western, Mt Kenya, North Easter and Rift Valley put on spot.
“The situation as at this morning is serious. The reservoir in Masinga as per this morning we have reached historical figures of 1057.86 above the sea level. Maximum reservoir is 1056…it is a serious issue,” the Energy CS said.
“Let them not weight for water. This is historical and it is the highest since Masinga was built,” he added.
Turkwel dam is equally full to the brim, according to CS Keter.