In scenes reminiscent of last year’s tragedy that left over 60 dead and hundreds displaced, heavy rains and flash floods are forcing panicked residents in Pokot South Sub-county out of their homes in search of safer grounds.
The affected areas are Nyarkulian, ParuaMuino, Sakata, Chesegon,Chesta,Karapoy and Kokososion. Pokot South Deputy County Commissioner Fredrick Kimanga said acres of farmland was damaged during a landslide at Imonpoghet village in Lelan Division. No casualties were reported.
“Several families have been evacuated. I would like to advise locals to move to safer grounds. They should not wait for calamity to befall them,” he said. Lelan Chief Daniel Nguriatudo said one of the families had lost at least half of their land.
In Pokot North Sub-county, heavy rains witnessed in Konyao and its environs have raised fears among residents living along Konyao and Kanyangareng rivers of flooding.
“Farms along the two rivers have been submerged. Families are at risk of hunger,” Kapchok MCA Peter Lokor said, adding, the damage caused by the rains should be assessed and documented for emergency response.
One of the locals, Ms Miriam Cheyech said she incurred huge losses when her vegetable farm was swept away.
County Deputy Director for Disaster Management and Emergencies Raymond Sikamoi said measures are in place for a lasting solution by planting trees in landslide prone areas.
“We have planted more than ten million trees,” he said, adding that the county government has trained Disaster Risk Reduction Committees and sent them to 2,401 villages. Mr Sikamoi noted that the administration has mapped out disaster zones.
County Kenya Red Cross Society Coordinator Scholastic Kapelo announced a partnership with Acted, an international humanitarian organisation, to respond to any emergency situation.
“It is wise for people living in such areas to take precautionary measures by moving to safer grounds.”
“We, in partnership with Acted and other stakeholders, are working on modalities to assist the affected families,” she said.
She advised area residents against building houses on steep slopes.
Kenya Meteorological Department County Director Wilson Lonyangole warned that the county is expecting higher-than-normal rainfall in the highlands and low amounts in the lowlands.