Kenya to send food stuff, rescue personnel to Turkey, CS Mutua announces

Turkey Syria Earthquake

This aerial view shows residents helped by bulldozers, searching for victims and survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings, following an earthquake in the town of Sarmada in the countryside of the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, early on February 6, 2023.

Photo credit: AFP

Kenya has joined the global community in condoling with Turkey and Syria following a devastating earthquake incident two days ago that has left at least 5,000 dead, with more injured with many yet to be found.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the South Eastern parts of Turkey and Northern Syria destroying several cities and settlement causing massive destruction to property worth millions of dollars.

In solidarity with the affected countries, the Kenyan government has said it will soon organise for the transportation of foodstuff including tea, coffee and nuts to the two affected nations and called on Kenyans of goodwill to join this initiative. 

Speaking during a joint press briefing with the Turkish Ambassador to Kenya Mr Subutay Yuksel, the Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua said Kenya stands in solidarity with Turkey and Syria and share in the deep pain they are experiencing following the natural disaster.

He added that Kenya will not just sit and watch television, talking about what is happening in Turkey and instead urged Kenyans to donate whatever they can to help those affected by the earthquake.

“We have a responsibility to lend a hand to these two nations.I call upon Kenyans to join hands in extending material support that will alleviate human sufferings such as foodstuff, clothing, medical stuff, finances among others,” said Dr Mutua.

To effectively conduct the process, the Dr Mutua said they will, in the next few days, communicate the collection points of the donated items.

Religious groups, were also beseeched to not only pray for Turkey and Syria but also have special offerings to alleviate the suffering of the thousands of families left destitute following the earthquake.

Medical doctors and nurses wishing to assist in mitigating the effects of the disaster have also been called to volunteer so that they be taken to assist in catering to the injured and those rescued from the rubbles.

Following a request from Ambassador Yuksel on assistance of search and rescue operations, CS Mutua said Kenya, having its own fair share of  disasters, has an active search and rescue operations team in the Minsity of Interior and Internal Affairs which can assist Turkish authorities in seeking  and rescuing survivors of the catastrophe.

“We are going to see how we are going to send Kenyans to be able to help because that is what is needed right now as a priorit,” he said.

The CS also confirmed no Kenyan was affected by the earthquake and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in constant touch with Kenya’s Embassy in Turkey to get updates on the happenings.

For Kenyans stranded in Turkey, a hotline 90538502060 has been set up so that the government can effectively assist those who are in distress and may need to be evacuated to Kenya.

Ambassador Yuksel expressed his gratitude to Kenya for supporting Turkey at such a tough time and emphasised the need to ensure those still caught up in the rubbles are recued and swiftly so.

“What is happening in Turkey is not only an intense earthquake but also a very unusual disaster as per to its extent. The Turkish government has mobilized every resource and means to intervene

“Search and rescue efforts continue but time is of essence. We appeal for assistance from the international community and once again, I’m grateful for the solidarity being shown,” he said.