DP Gachagua blasts governors over floods crisis

Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua holds a baby when he led the distribution of humanitarian assistance to families displaced by floods in Garissa town on December 4, 2023.

Photo credit: DPCS

What you need to know:

  • The DP said the National Government has made efforts to provide military vehicles and helicopters to help flood victims.
  • Mr Rigathi said the government has provided medical drugs, mosquito nets and food which are being distributed to the victims.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has yet again criticised governors over the manner they have been handling the floods crisis in the country.

The DP said all that the governors have been doing is holding press conferences to lament over the flood situation in their counties instead of going to the affected areas to help the victims.

At the same time, the DP has initiated a Sh451,699,200 cash transfer to 119, 178 vulnerable households in eight arid counties, including Garissa.

The money will be disbursed under the Hunger Safety Net Programme, implemented by the National Drought Management Authority under the Ministry of East African Community, ASALs and Regional Development.

Speaking in Tana River County, Mr Gachagua said it is imperative that governors go to where Kenyans have been affected by floods instead of holding pressers to complain over the disbursement of funds to combat El Nino.

The Deputy President said he has witnessed the effects of floods, especially in Garissa, Tana River and Mombasa counties. He reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring that no Kenyan starves because of floods.

Mr Gachagua commended Governor Dadho Godhana for his efforts to help residents affected by the floods. 

"We want counties and the National Government to work together to help the victims. We are happy to have the Governor Godhana right here at the grassroots the affected people are. Some of your colleagues are busy shouting in the pressers. Nothing can be solved in the media," said Mr Gachagua. 

"The floods are happening where your people are. Go there and find out where the problem is. Where medicine or food is needed, you give it. Let's help each other to tackle this issue," said Mr Gachagua. 

Two weeks ago, the Council of Governors held a press conference and accused Mr Gachagua of 'deceiving' Kenyans that the National Government had disbursed funds to help flood victims.

At the same, the DP said the National Government has made efforts to provide military vehicles and helicopters to help flood victims.

Mr Rigathi said the government has provided medical drugs, mosquito nets and food which are being distributed to the victims.

"We understand the challenges the citizens have been experiencing, not only this year but also in previous years due to the floods," said Mr Gachagua.

Governor Godhana said his county has been severely affected because Tana River is in a low-lying area.

"There are 10 other small rivers that have overflowed because of the rain and poured all the water into Tana River. Nearly 70 per cent of this county has been affected by the floods, and there are 200,000 people who cannot get essential services," Mr Godhana said.

He also said he has used substantial county resources to help victims of the floods, some of whom have had their houses sept away.

“We have suspended all other projects and channeled funds to the floods crisis,” Mr Godhana.

Galole MP Said Buya said the floods in Tana River County have been a perennial problem and called on the National Government to assist in constructing dams in Bura, Galole and Garsen once the rains subside.

Meanwhile, one person was reported dead while another one is still missing after they were swept away by floods following heavy rains that pounded Taita Taveta County on Sunday.

More than 100 families in Voi Sub-county have been displaced by floods after Voi River broke its banks following heavy rains on Sunday night.

Many homesteads along the river bank have marooned by the floods, forcing some of the affected residents to seek refuge on their rooftops. 

The Deputy Governor Christine Kilalo, said they were still assessing the damage to know the extent of losses and urged residents in the flood-prone areas to vacate the area.

“We are gathering data on the number of families affected. Our priority is to make sure everyone is safe. Those who are in flooded areas should move to safer grounds because we expect more rains,” she said.

She also said the county government is working with the National Government and other partners to find refuge for the displaced families.

Voi River is prone to annual floods due to its proximity to Taita Hills, where heavy rainfall is experienced. 

The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned of more heavy rains in the region and advised the residents to be on the lookout for flash floods and landslides.

In Kilifi, Governor Gideon Mung’aro said the El-Nino emergency Tsetse fly campaign along the Sabaki River Jilore Forest Corridor in Malindi Sub County has been intensified by a team of veterinary officers from the department of Livestock Development and those from Kenya Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council (KENTTEC).

“Due to the heavy rains, the communities residing within these boundaries are at a heightened risk of being bitten by tsetse flies and contracting trypanosomiasis, a disease transmitted by these flies,” said Mr Mung’aro.

However, he said County Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Cornel Malenga, has set up tsetse traps, which successfully captured a number of flies for further research and analysis in a laboratory.

Report by Lucy Mkanyika, Wachira Mwangi, Winnie Atieno