Emergency camps formed to assist flood victims in Lamu

Lamu county deputy county commissioner Loius Rono at one of the houses affectd by flood. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: The national government together with Red Cross Lamu County has established a temporary camp at Nagele area in Witu division, Lamu West to help flood victims in the county.

Over 3000 people have been left homeless after their houses were swept away by floods in Chalaluma,Dide Waride,Moa and Matabore villages in Lamu.

The floods are as a result of the bursting of the banks of rivers Tana in Tana River county and Nyongoro in Lamu.

Speaking on Tuesday,Lamu county deputy county commissioner Loius Rono said the Nagele camp is their best bet for the families as its located on a raised ground hence can’t be reached by floods.

Rono said the establishment of camp is also to facilitate easy access of affected persons for distribution of humanitarian aid by government agencies and other partners.

He has also sent word to all affected villagers wherever they are to report to the Nagele camp where they will be helped.

The commissioner has also asked those who are still residing in vulnerable places to also move out before disaster strikes.

He said most of the affected villages are totally inaccessible due to the bad state of the road caused by floods.

“We have put up this camp to specifically receive all the flood victims here.Since its hard to reach all affected villages, they can easily come here and get help.We are urging all those in such areas to move out and report to the Nagele camp.There is enough food and more is still on its way,” said Rono.

Lamu county Red Cross Coordinator Kauthar Alwy however raised concern that some of the affected persons had refused to vacate their homes to safety.

Alwy said many people who reside in areas vulnerable to flooding had also refused to heed calls for them to move out to safer areas.

She said such actions are risky and deadly.

“Since last week we are really having a hard time telling people to move to safety.Even some of those whose homes have been swept away don’t want to barge.In as much as we want to help them, we cant reach them from over there.They need to come to the camp at Nagele.We will help in whichever way possible until the floods pass,” said Alwy.

Meanwhile, the county government of Lamu has dispatched a team of disaster management officers to assess the situation in all villages affected by floods and compile a report that will enable them to get the necessary assistance.