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Bomet flash floods leave 700 homeless, at risk of sickness



According to local authorities and the Red Cross, flash floods have forced more than 102 families out of their homes in the Chepalungu constituency of Bomet County, putting the total number of evacuated residents at nearly 700

The areas affected include the lower zones that are prone to flooding, according to the officials, and the numbers are anticipated to increase as it continues to rain.

When the Red Cross surveyed the affected neighborhoods on Saturday, they found that 40 households had been impacted, but by Sunday morning, that figure had more than doubled.

Pit latrines were removed and the buildings moved downstream, putting locals at risk for diseases like cholera. The Nation conducted a spot inspection and discovered numerous pit latrines that were either totally ruined, had waste seeping to the surface, or had massive wall fissures and were therefore unusable.

The Red Cross’ South Rift Regional Manager, Mr. Jethro Koeh, said that communities in flood-prone areas have been proactively alerted and asked to leave in order to avert calamities.

“The Kenya Red Cross Society disseminates the warning through short mobile phone messages and verbal communication in meetings and barazas organised by administrators in the targeted regions. They are based on meteorological advisories received by the society,” Mr Koech said.

To help victims, the Red Cross and the county and national governments have distributed items including kitchen sets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets, bars of soaps and aquatabs (water purifying tablets) and 20 litre-jerry cans of water.

Mr Cheruiyot Baliach, chairman of the Red Cross’ Bomet branch, said that with the ongoing rains, a sharp rise in the number of victims was likely.

“There is a need for surveillance by public health officers so that mitigation measures are taken to curb spread of diseases and avert loss of lives. The victims also require psychosocial support,” Mr Baliach said during the distribution of non-food items at primary school grounds

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