Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

AMASON KINGI: Declare floods national disaster NOW

A house is partly submerged in flood water along the River Tana on April 23. /ALPHONCE GARI
A house is partly submerged in flood water along the River Tana on April 23. 

I am surprised the government has not declared torrential rains and flooding a national disaster. Things are really bad and fast getting out of hand.
Declaring a national disaster means more resources will be diverted to dealing with flood damage. NGOs and international organisations will lend a hand. Counties and the national government are doing their best, but they are overstretched.
People have lost their lives and vast amounts of property have been destroyed but we are still waiting for it to be declared a disaster!
We haven’t witnessed such floods since Independence and it could get worse. At the Coast, more than 70 per cent of Tana River county is under water; lives, property and livestock have been washed away.
In Nyanza, especially Nyando, people are counting massive losses. The situation is no better in Northeastern, especially Garissa and Wajir.
As long as this isn’t declared a national disaster, it’s left to different agencies to handle it on their own. We urgently need a coordinator.
 Interventions will come from development partners and stakeholders. We need food and shelter, also clean water and sanitation, anything to prevent disease outbreaks.
In Kilifi county, we are doing our best, as are most counties. A disaster team is on the ground. Numbers are tabulated. We provide shelter, water, sanitation, food and medication. That’s what everyone needs nationwide.
Everywhere strong security and medical teams are needed to respond to potential disease outbreaks.
If this is declared a national disaster, there will be serious interventions and more resources. The Red Cross and other humanitarian groups have come on board to provide blankets, food tents and other aid.
The weather forecast is for more of the same, even worse.
We appreciate any help since the affected people need the basic things. The authorities should stock necessities since we are not sure how long the rains will last.
The current response has put a lot of pressure on county resources, which will require new planning and execution of services at the county level. We ask everyone to come on board to intervene so that we can save lives.
The writer, the Kilifi Governor, spoke to the Star Newspaper