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Apart From Covid-19, This Is What Should Be Declared A National Disaster

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Kenya’s long rainy season between April to early June is highly awaited by farmers in the country who depend on rain-fed farming However, the long-awaited blessing is turning into a curse to many, where it is claiming lives and destroying properties after causing floods.

Flash floods and overflowing Rivers have so far affected at least 31 of Kenya’s 47 counties, with more being hit by mudslides. Extreme rainfall being experienced has struck many parts of the country, among them being Northern Kenya, coastal region central parts, and worst hit being the western region.

Through Government Minister Eugene  Wamalwa, more than 237 lives have been lost from floods that began in April. A total of 161,000 households (over 800,000 people) have now been affected across the country.  More than 5000 families were displaced after the River Nzoia broke its banks. Thousands have also been displaced, and properties of unknown have destroyed around the Lake Victoria basin caused by the rising water levels in the Lake, resulting in the backflow of water.

The weatherman’s advisory states that heavy rains will continue being experienced in most parts of the county. Rainfall of more than 100mm is expected in various counties. The national and county government should move to people residing downstream and lowlands to higher grounds to evade havoc brought by floods.

Flood victims are in dire need of basic needs; shelter, food clothing, clean water, safe sanitation, bedding, medical supply, and psychosocial support. Declaring floods a national disaster would attract necessary attention from the state, humanitarians’ agencies, and private investors drawing in needed funds to help flood victims.

Rebuilding the economy destroyed by the natural catastrophes calls for a joint effort from the government, Non –governmental organizations, and the private sector. This comes at a devastating time when the country is still fighting the covid-19 pandemic, not to mention the suffering economy from the covid-19 impact.

Emergency response funds, recovery and restoration funds, and management and supply distribution funds are among the finances needed to help ease the effect left behind by floods. The government needs all the help it can get to safeguard the safety of its citizens.

Having floods declared a national disaster would enable the allocation of sufficient funds in the budget to construct reservoirs. Besides that, it would also ensure post-flood measures are put in place to ascertain these families can restart their lives and get a means of livelihood.

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