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Religious leaders call for support for Garissa, Tana River flood victims

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Victims of the River Tana's overflow urgently need food and non-food items, as determined by an assessment of camps in Garissa Township.

The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) has appealed to the government, NGOs, and well-wishers to support people displaced by heavy rains and floods in Garissa town and Tana River counties.

Sheikh Abdinasir Ali Abdi, the Garissa branch chairman of the CIPK, said victims of the River Tana's overflow urgently needed food and non-food items, as determined by their assessment of camps in Garissa Township.



"Mothers and children are the worst affected. Let us join hands to support them. They need us," he told journalists at the Young Muslim Secondary School in Iftin ward, Garissa Township, on Wednesday, flanked by the religious leaders who took part in the assessment.

The school has been hosting at least 600 displaced persons from Bakuyu and Ziwani in Tana River, who Abdinasir noted lost their homes and all possessions, as well as their sources of livelihood, hence their need for both short- and long-term support.

The religious leaders donated food to the families at the school.

Garissa Township Acting Deputy County Commissioner Dancan Rono (L) and Sheikh Abdinasir Ali Abdi, the Garissa branch chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), addresses the media at an IDP camp at the Young Muslim Secondary School in Iftin ward on May 15, 2024. (Photo: Issa Hussein/EV)


Garissa Township Acting Deputy County Commissioner Dancan Rono acknowledged support from the government and donors but said the families needed more support as their population was high.

Ronp announced plans by the government to relocate the displaced people from Young Muslim to allow the smooth running of the school's learning activities, following the official reopening for the second term on Monday.

Sala MCA Mohamud Ali Barrow said 80 per cent of his ward members, from Bakuyu, Ziwani, and Mororo, were affected by the floods.

He urged the Tana River government to speedily help residents currently living in temporary shelters in Garissa.

Mohamud welcomed the announcement by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua that KenGen would compensate Garissa's farmers whose fields were damaged by the floodwaters.

"Farmers from Tana River were equally affected, so we appeal to the government to extend the compensation programme to our county," he said.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, 94,824 people in Garissa and Tana River counties were affected after the River Tana burst its bank, flooding residential homes,  institutions, and farms.

As of May 14, the death toll from the floods in Kenya had reached 289, while the number of people injured under different circumstances was 188.

The Interior ministry, which has been giving updates, also said that 75 people had been reported missing, 57,120 families, or 285,600 individuals, displaced, and 412,336 affected countrywide.

The number of camps hosting the displaced was 187, in 25 counties.

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