Red Cross airlifts 200 flood victims
18 April 2013, 13:27
The Kenya Red Cross Society has airlifted 200 people who were stranded at Kulobani village in Magarini district for three days after floods washed away their houses.
The stranded people had sought refuge at a hill on Sunday when they found themselves marooned after River Sabaki broke its banks before they were evacuated on Tuesday.
The Red Cross officials led by Secretary General Abbas Gullet rescued the residents who had been staying without food, water and shelter.
Gullet said 150 of those rescued were children in danger of being swept away by floods, saying his officers in the area had tried to rescue them on Monday but their boat could not access the area forcing them to secure helicopter for the one day activity.
Gullet said the rescued families will be camping at Karimboni primary school where they will be provided with shelter, food and water among other things until floods subside.
The Red Cross officer said that they managed to distribute several items to the flood victims among them tents, water jerrycans and other non-food items.
He appealed to the government and well wishers to intervene and help the displaced people in the area.
The officer also urged local residentss staying near River Sabaki in Magarini and River Tana in the larger Tana River county to move to higher areas to avoid being swept away since the water level was still increasing.
He was accompanied by Magarini district commissioner Richard Karani who said that the Ministry of Special Programmes will distribute relief food to the affected people.
Gullet said the situation is expected to worsen in the coming days urging locals across the country not to risk their lives.
"Three villages in Garrissa have been marooned and two sections of roads in the area completely cut off. So, it's better for Kenyans living along the Rivers to move to higher grounds to avoid being washed away," he said.
He said 36 people have died as a result of floods across the country while thousands of acres of land with various crops have been washed away in Magarini, Malindi and Tana River.
Gullet warned that flood victims may be forced to survive on relief food for the next four months because their cropswere washed away and they have nothing else to rely on for food.
The Secretary General asked the county governments to come up with projects which can tap flood water from the river to prevent floods from washing away homesteads and farms.
"This issue can become a past tense if county governments initiate projects to tap and contain water from Rivers," he noted.
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