The suffering of Kano, a resident of Budarangi, destroyed by the flood

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Monday, May 22, 2023 00:05 | to

The suffering of Kano, a resident of Budarangi, destroyed by the flood

Residents of flood-affected Nyando, Kisumu District, carry non-food items donated by the Red Cross to cushion the impact while in the IDP camp PD/Viola Kosome

Her 80-year-old grandmother, Josephine Akiney, wiped her face with a torn handkerchief as she stared at the thick clouds gathering in the sky.

While others in different parts of the country see the clouds as a blessing and the potential for good benefits for agriculture, Akini says the darkness, suffering and grief at Lukala refugee camp in Buniyala, Busia governorate. Starving, and reading long stays.

She is one of thousands of families forced to live with their dogs in refugee camps after being forced from their homes by severe flooding.

At the camp, it’s a dream for only a few families to even get one meal a day, while others suffer from the devastating floods and backflows of Lake Victoria.

From a distance, it’s easy to see the pain she’s enduring before she even utters a word. She lost her house, her crops, important papers, and her grandchildren’s papers in the flood. “For me it was not easy. As a result of the flood, I lost my house and everything that was there. My crops were also washed away by the flood,” she explained. increase.

Despite her frail health, she spends several days walking far from the camp to a flood-free area, trading weeds for a few coins for a farmer. But her age does not allow her to work for several hours. “It is very difficult to get food in the camps unless well-meaning people like the Red Cross come to the rescue. is always haunting us,” she explains.

She explains that there are days when she sleeps hungry, even though she keeps praying for the water level to go down so she can go home to pick up the debris.

destroyed by flood

But she’s not alone, a few meters away from the tent another woman is also struggling to adjust to life in the camp. Her widow, Mary Barratha, moved to the camp in early March after heavy rains forced her out of her home. “I have two young children and the nights in the camp can be very cold. Finding food is also not easy. she explains.

Barasa said he was forced to dig sand to raise money to feed the children in the displacement camp he now calls home.

Every day she leaves her two children, ages 4 and 6, at the camp to find food. A humanitarian crisis in the camp has forced several families to seek alternative means of survival.

According to Kenya Red Cross data, about 894 households have been relocated to alternative shelters as a result of the Busia County floods.

Further investigation revealed that a number of shelters hosting other families displaced by the backwaters of Lake Victoria had also been damaged, leaving others inundated and uninhabitable.

According to the assessment, 300 homes in the sub-county reported that groundwater seepage had made the shelter a comfortable place to live. Flood conditions are exacerbated as the area is sandwiched between the Nzoia and Yarra rivers and Lake Victoria.

Regional manager for Western Kenya, Helen Cheruto, said the livelihoods of the community have been greatly affected as the community depends mainly on agriculture and fishing. “Their economic capacity has also been affected as most farms have been submerged and fishing gear has been lost due to strong currents. said Chert.

completely submerged

Nyando is also grappling with a humanitarian crisis after more than 2,000 families moved to camps to escape floods.

At least 12 villages at the Kakola Ombaka reference point have been completely submerged, forcing households to seek refuge in temporary shelters and schools.

Most of the camps are in dire conditions, lacking basic amenities and food items, leaving families to starvation and shortages of medicines.

About 1,500 families set up tents at the Nyamathao refugee camp. The camp is overcrowded and it is a mystery how the family is coping with the camp situation.

When The People Daily visited the camp, some older men were sitting outside in the morning sun with puddles under their feet.

One of them, Joash Okumu, said he was suffering from headaches and colds but couldn’t go to medical facilities because they were too far away. “The health centers that normally serve us are flooded and non-functioning. .

Kanyagwal deputy director Bonifas Otieno said the flood conditions were worse than what he had witnessed recently.

“We live as nomads, which is very unfortunate. Conditions in the camps are also very dire. Most households lack basic daily necessities,” he explains.

The Kenya Red Cross Society last week donated cooking utensils, two blankets for each affected person, trampolines, water bottles, nets and carpets to displaced families.

In Ogeniya and Ombaka districts within Nyandsav district, 1,118 and 1,254 households received humanitarian assistance from the Red Cross.

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