Deputy President of Kenya William Ruto heading to help load relief food to Isiolo and Tana River affected by floods.  

The Kenyan government on Thursday stepped up provision of humanitarian aid to flash floods victims who have been killed, rendered homeless or displaced due to heavy rains pounding various parts of the country.

Deputy President William Ruto also flagged off part of five tonnes of relief food to be distributed to residents of Coastal and northern region affected by floods following heavy rains pounding different parts of the country.

Ruto said that the government has resolved to use the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) in relief distribution noting that 4,000 bags of maize, 14,000 bags of rice, 6,800 bags of beans, 2,100 cartons of cooking oil and 100 bales of food supplements have so far been distributed.

“The non-food items include 2,300 blankets, 1,100 tarpaulins and 450 cartons of soap. All these items are valued at 100 million shillings (1.19 million U.S. dollars),” Ruto told journalists in Nairobi after flagging off the five tonnes of relief food to residents of in northern and coastal regions.

He expressed concern that 63 lives have so far been lost and 34, 000 others displaced by floods. Ruto said efforts were being made to ensure no further loss of lives due to floods adding that the government has put everything under control.

“It is unfortunate we have up to today lost 63 lives and over 34,000 people displaced by the floods following heavy rains pounding different parts of the country. We want to assure Kenyans that everything is being done to attain lasting solution to the problem,” he said.

Ruto’s remarks come as Kenya Meteorological Department said due to the already saturated soils and the long rains season which is set to continue, the flooding menace could continue well into May.

Director of Meteorological Services Dr. Joseph Mukabana called for the immediate establishment of the national disaster operations center to help alleviate the suffering of Kenyan who are caught in harm’s way owing to climate related disasters.

Mukabana called for continued targeted investment in meteorological infrastructure to help improve the forecasting and dissemination of information to the public in order to reduce risks associated with climate impacts.

Kenyan government is also putting in place measures that will permanently solve flash floods problem in the East African nation.

Ruto said the government has hired choppers to airlift several people among them 41 citizens who were marooned by floods in Garissa County.

“In fact, the government has been forced to hire choppers to airlift 41 citizens who were marooned by floods in Garissa County and we are doing the same to people who have been marooned by the floods in Tana River among other parts of the country,” he said.

Ruto said the government has put in place measures aimed at ensuring that Kenyans affected by the floods are assisted and the situation contained.

The Deputy President who was flanked by Special Programs Permanent Secretary Andrew Mondoh singled out Turkana, Marsabit, West Pokot, Tana River, Kisii. Migori, Garissa, Mandera, Isiolo and Kilifi as some of the area which have been hard hit by floods.

Ruto said the ministry of Special Programs has been directed to come up with a Sessional Paper to be presented to Parliament for discussion to pave way for the establishment of Disaster management Authority charged which will be charged with disaster mitigation and management in the country.

“This National Disaster Risk Reduction and Flood Control Plan is being finalized and will be implemented immediately. The government will come up with a Sessional Paper on the implementation of the action plan so that Kenyans can have more information on how to be prepared for such situation in future,” Ruto said.

The most affected regions by heavy rains are in Western Kenya, Coastal region and parts of Rift Valley where heavy rains have washed away bridges and rendered many roads impassable, making difficult efforts to reach thousands of people made homeless by the flooding.

“I wish to assure Kenyans that the government will mobilize all the available resources to assist the affected persons and finding lasting solutions to nature driven disasters,” the deputy president said.

He said that all County Commissioners, District Commissioners and the provincial Administration has been directed to ensure residents in areas prone to landslides and floods are moved to safer areas to avert disaster.

“County Commissioners, District Commissioners and the entire provincial administration have been directed to ensure residents in areas prone to floods and landslides are moved to safer areas to avert disaster during this rainy season,” he said.

Ruto said that a number of Permanent Secretaries will tour areas affected by floods in the country with a view to coming up with ways of assisting residents of such areas move on with their lives uninterrupted.

He commended various stakeholders who have joined hands with the Government in helping Kenyans who have been affected by floods.

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