• May 25, 2024
  • Last Update May 25, 2024 7:56 PM
  • Nairobi

Declare floods a national disaster, Ruto urged

Politics

By Peter Ochieng

President William Ruto has been urged to declare floods a national disaster.

According to the Kenya Red Cross Society, the floods have displaced thousands of people and killed tens of others in various parts of the country.

Addressing the press on Wednesday evening, Azimio La Umoja One Kenya leader, Raila Odinga said the Head of State should make a declaration now, so as to activate emergency mechanisms, including military response teams. 

“It is our urgent appeal that the President and government hereby declare the floods a national disaster and immediately activate all emergency mechanisms, including military disaster response teams,”said the opposition Chief.

Odinga said as a humanitarian agency, the Kenya Red Cross Society should launch an emergency response kitty, in a bid to reach out to affected Kenyans.

“The Red Cross moves to launch an emergency disaster support kitty to assist families affected by the flooding, for urgent distribution on case by case basis.”

He revealed that Azimio MPs had contributed Sh1 million to be handed over to Red Cross for humanitarian aid, adding that the flooding situation may worsen.

“As we speak the Azimio MPs assembled here have already put together the sum of Sh1 million as a start which shall be given to the Red Cross in Nairobi for distribution to the affected people.”

“It is important to point out that all forecasts show that the rains will be pouring some more tonight and the coming days, which means the disaster is about to get worse. Preparedness is key to forestalling a crisis of larger proportions.”

Today, President Ruto engaged leaders in counties and regions affected by the ongoing heavy rains. 

He directed the ministries of Interior and EAC, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development, and the National Youth Service to immediately respond to the situation caused by the floods.

Raila’s call came hours after four bodies of people suspected to be flood victims were retrieved from Mathare River.

It followed heavy downpour witnessed in several parts of the Capital, on Tuesday.

The retrieved bodies, according to Starehe Sub-county Police Commander Fred Abuga, were of two women and two men.

Abuga said the search is on for six other people who are unaccounted for, after several people were reported missing. 

Earlier, as reported by Nairobi Review, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna called for quick response from the national government, in a bid to save more lives.

“The situation in Nairobi has escalated to extreme levels. The county government for all its efforts is clearly overwhelmed. We need all national emergency services mobilised to save lives,” said the first term legislature, who doubles up as ODM Party Secretary General. 

Informal settlements were previously affected by flooding, but under the current situation, even the affluent estates have not been spared.

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