More than 3000 residents of Kipini west in Tanadelta sub-county are spending their holy fasting month hungry, under risk of being attacked by crocodiles and hippos, and contracting waterborne diseases after River Tana burst its banks and engulfed their villages.
The villages have been cut off and trees that have been uprooted by the floods have made it impossible for rescue boats to reach the area.
This is according to Musa Wario, the Kipini West Ward Member of County Assembly who said the highest ground is 10 kilometers away at an area called Marafa which can only be accessed by boat as the river is flooded.
”We had to call divers to clear the way along the river as it was not accessible, these people have no means to move to higher grounds if they get means they can go to the safe zone,” Wario said.
The residents had just returned to the village three months ago after yet another wave of flash floods forced them to vacate their homes after destroying their crops.
The hungry residents have been forced to scramble for the few dry areas that have remained
Areas worst affected include Mwanja, Odhole, Samicha, Kikomo, and Handaraku which are completely marooned and not accessible by road.
At Mwanja village an entire homestead has turned into a lake and there are no higher grounds for the locals to shelter, they have to scramble within the little space which is dry for them to survive.
Haji Dube the headman of Mwanja village said his village has 131 households and the residents are forced to share the few household goods remaining.
He said if the government should dispatch choppers to support the families in the area.
”This area can only be accessed by air as this place is remote and there has been no relief support, we need food, mosquito nets, drugs, tents, now we are fasting problems are many,” he said.
Dube said they have not received any support from the government both national and county despite the fact that the governor Dhadho Godhana and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa toured the county with choppers.
Their luckier neighbors have been forced to take refuge at the Marafa IDP camp more than three months since they returned to their homes.
The residents had returned to the village in February after the floodwaters that had displaced them in December dried.
Locals who spoke to journalists said only 4000 residents managed to relocate to the Marafa area and 3000 have been forced to stay within the flooded village with their young children and women which putting them at a high risk of contracting water-borne diseases.
Abdulkhadhir Abdulahi Gobu, a resident of Mwanja said despite the COVID-19 pandemic residents have been highly affected by the flood menace which has affected the livelihoods of men and women. He called on the county and national governments and well-wishers to assist the families who are in dire need of relief support.
”Our roads are not accessible because of the heavy rains, those who can access this area are those with choppers and boats, people from our area do not have those facilities,” he said.
He called on the government to supply food and nonfood items, together with medical support.
Apart from KipiniWest other parts of the Tanadelta have also been affected and roads are in pathetic condition.
Others are Tana, North where thousands of households have also been affected by the disaster