Garissa: Residents urged to move to safer grounds

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Hundreds of families had to evacuate their personal effects (File Picture)

Garissa County Commissioner Meru Mwangi has urged residents in flood prone areas to immediately move to safer ground.

 Addressing the press in Garissa town today Mwangi said that water levels in river Tana continue to rise and added the river could burst its banks anytime soon.

Flood prone areas within Garissa town and its environs include Bula Punda, Bula Iftin, Bouralgy, Bula Sheikh, Mororo, Ziwani and Windsor where several houses were submerged in last year’s floods.

“I want to urge all the residents who live in areas prone to floods to start moving to safer grounds because there are indications that river Tana could burst its bank anytime from now,” Mwangi said.

“I am also calling on our partners like the county government, Kenya Red Cross, UNICEF and other NGOs to start preparations to assist those that will be displaced.”

Mwangi also called on residents of Bura, Mansabubu and Masalani which are prone to floods to also heed the message of evacuating.

As of yesterday, the water levels on river Tana had sharply increased to 5.10 metres from 3.90 metres in the morning.

The heavy rains across the country continue to cause havoc with the death toll in the Chesogon area at the ElgeyoMarakwet-West Pokot border rising to 12 after 8 more bodies were retrieved from the mud yesterday.

The Meteorological department has warned that the ongoing rains will increase, exposing Kenyans in risk-prone areas to flooding and landslides.

Stella Aura, the director of Kenya Metrological Department noted that the long rains which began in March, may continue until June 2020.

Ms Aura advised Kenyans to heed to the routine updates from the department for their own safety and the safety of their property.

Speaking yesterday interior CS Fred Matiang’i asked Kenyans who live in risk-prone areas to move to higher ground.

“Do not ignore these directives from your leaders and experts, heed the warning and move to safer, higher ground,” Matiang’i said.

Some regions which are likely to be affected by floods and landslides are parts of Murang’a, Taita Taveta, ElgeyoMarakwet, West Pokot, and Kisumu.

Energy CS Charles Keter noted that those living near the dams especially in Tana River and Garissa would experience increased water volumes in the next two days.

“The Eastern hydros are currently full to the maximum and there is already spillage from Masinga Dam. In the next two days, those living on the lower part of Garissa  and Tana River will experience a lot of water and must move to the safest upper regions immediately,” Keter said.