Looming humanitarian crisis as West Pokot landslide deaths rise to 52

A flooded field in Taita Taveta county.The weatherman has warned of heavy rains that are set to rock Kwale county starting Tuesday PHOTO: COURTESY.

The death toll from the landslide that hit parts of West Pokot County on Friday night has risen to 52 amid fears that the situation is turning into a humanitarian crisis and the death toll could be higher.

This is according to the West Pokot governor John Lonyangapuo.

“The challenge we are facing here is transportation because bridges have been cut off, we need the government to station a chopper here,The number of people confirmed dead now is 52 there are other bodies that are yet to be transported from the villages.”Lonyangapuo told reporters on Monday morning.

However speaking on n Monday, Rift Valley regional coordinator George Natembeya who spoke in Eldoret put the death toll at 41.

“ 30 bodies have so been identified, 11 are yet to be identified” Natembeya told reporters.

Officials on Monday said that the road connecting Kapenguria and Lodwar towns had been rendered impassable hampering rescue operations.

Most of the roads in West Pokot and Turkana counties had been rendered impassable by the heavy rains.

Five police officers escaped death narrowly on Saturday after their vehicle was washed away by floods in Turkana West sub-county.

However, the rains are expected to subside on Monday  according to the weatherman.

In an alert that was issued on Monday last week  by the Kenya Meteorological department, flooding and landslides are expected to occasion the rains that would exceed 20mm in 24 hours.

On Friday, the Kenya Redcross said that at least 161,238 people have been affected by floods in the country.