KENYA: Bishops Express Solidarity with Victims of Flooding and Landslides

NAIROBI, APRIL 24, 2020 (CISA)-The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops – Justice and Peace Commission has condoled and  empathized with families affected by flooding and landslides in Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Bungoma, Homabay, and Kisumu Counties and called on government to speed up interventions.

In an April 23 statement signed by Rt. Rev. John Oballa Owaa chairman KCCB-Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, they urged that Government should intensify the search for those still missing and allocate resources to aid the recovery process so that families are re-united as they start to reconstruct their lives.

“We commend the Government’s multi-agency team, led by officers from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, for their speedy response and intervention in the Elgeyo Marakwet incidence. We, however, call on the two levels of Government to immediately allocate adequate resources to address the immediate needs of the affected population,” they said noting that this is important, especially during this period of Covid-19 pandemic, as those rendered homeless become even more vulnerable.

The prelates further called on well-wishers to render their support to the victims who are in dire need of humanitarian aid.

“We call on fellow Kenyans to come forward and provide any form of support they can so that our affected brothers and sisters may return to normal life. We have witnessed good neighbourliness, especially during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic, and we encourage Kenyans to embrace the same spirit,” the statement reads.

They also urged the public to always look out early warning signs of such calamities and follow directives to avert loss of lives and property as it has happened in the five counties.

“Families have lost their loved ones, many have been displaced and others have also lost their property. Furthermore, the landslides that have occurred in the area affecting more than 400 households have compounded the misery of families in the area. Service facilities such as hospitals, churches, care homes and schools have either been swept away or badly damaged by the raging waters,” they lamented.

On Saturday, April 18 a landslide hit Kipchumwa and Chesegon villages on the border of Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties claiming 24 lives and displacing about 4,000 people. 15 people are yet to be traced.