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Church mobilizes aid for flood victims, calls for long-term flood mitigation measures


Archbishop Martin Kivuva of Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa has urged the government to mull the construction of large dams to avert the recurring floods that have led to the death of more than 200 people.

Speaking Sunday during the golden jubilee celebration of St. Joseph Catholic Church-Tudor Parish headed by Rev. Fr. Richard Airo, Most Rev Archbishop Kivuva prayed for fortitude for families who have lost their loved ones as a result of the heavy rainfall that has wreaked havoc in several parts of the country.

“The government should construct large dams to harvest the water because it is a big waste. Although there are floods after a short while the waters will subside and flow into the ocean and they will not have been helpful. They have caused devastating effects,” said Most Rev Archbishop Kivuva.

He called for proper planning for the dams to harvest waters from the rivers for domestic, irrigation and generation of hydroelectric power.

Experts, he stated, have likened the heavy rains wreaking havoc in several parts of the country to be akin to the ones witnessed in 1961 when people were relocated to other parts of the country.

“The disasters should teach us lessons to put in place emergency systems that will offer quick response to victims,” said Rev. Kivuva, appealing for collaboration instead of blame games to assist victims.

“As a church, we have encouraged our stakeholders to contribute food and clothes to be distributed to victims in the centres they are holed in,” he added.

All the parishes under the catholic archdiocese of Mombasa have been told to inform their worshippers to contribute to alleviating the suffering of flood victims.

On the doctor’s strike, Kivuva urged the medics to avert more crises and return to work to take care of Kenyans affected by the raging rains albeit they have not reached a consensus with the government.

On his part, Malindi Catholic Diocese Bishop Willybard Lagho said flood is not a new phenomenon in the country or the world but the main setback is, “We don’t seem to learn from the past”

“If someone constructs a house on a riparian land or a waterway there will be problems. Our biggest challenge as a country is that we have allowed the construction of houses on waterways and authorized construction of new buildings without improving the drainage,” said Bishop Lagho.

“Our engineers and leaders must introspect because some of the disasters are man-made and could be avoided,” he added.

Bishop Lagho revealed that three catholic sponsored schools in Malindi are marooned in water because farmers have cultivated on river banks.

He urged parents to monitor their children’s behaviours to ensure they are firm in their faiths and not go astray.

“As a nation, we need to improve on our morals and good morals must be built from religion. Religion plays a pivotal role in shaping the morals of our children and leaders to be equitable,” stated Bishop Lagho.

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