More than 200 families in Mororo area, located at the border of Tanariver and Garissa Counties, have been displaced by floods after River Tana broke its banks following the ongoing heavy rains across the country.
The calamity unfolded on Sunday when the surging floodwaters inundated over 50 households, a local school, a church, and the Mororo dispensary, rendering them inaccessible.
An additional 150 households remain under imminent threat of being swept away if the weather conditions persist.
The 50 families that were entirely displaced from Mororo have been temporarily relocated to a playing ground in Bula Baraka, Madogo. However, concerns have arisen regarding the potential outbreak of diseases due to the precarious sanitation conditions at the relocation site.
Journalists, who accompanied a team from the Kenya Red Cross Society, led by Coast Regional Manager Hassan Musa, witnessed the dire situation at Mororo firsthand.
The displaced families have begun constructing makeshift shelters at the playing ground, including children, men, women, and the elderly. Coast Regional Manager Hassan Musa expressed his concern and stated that his teams on the ground had reported that over 200 households had been impacted by the floods.
“We have identified submerged houses and people who have been affected. Some of them have sought refuge in safer areas. As the Kenya Red Cross, we are committed to collaborating with the county government to provide shelter and support to those affected during this crisis,” Musa asserted.
Musa also revealed that both a local church and the Mororo dispensary were inaccessible, severely limiting access to essential health services for the affected residents. The registration of those affected has already commenced, with the first priority being the 50 households that have been entirely displaced to ensure they receive adequate shelter.
He emphasized the urgency of relocating the remaining 150 families to higher ground to prevent further catastrophe, acknowledging that among these families, there are young children, expectant mothers, and the elderly who require special consideration.
Musa explained that in Tanariver County, flooding typically originates from the Madogo area but accumulates downstream in Tanadelta, where over 20 villages with a population of more than 2000 people stand to be affected. Musa cautioned residents in the Delta to evacuate to safer locations immediately, as floodwaters were already making their way downstream, posing a significant threat to the local population.
He urged residents with farms to commence harvesting and evacuate to safer areas due to the ongoing flooding and persistent rainfall. “We appeal to residents along the River banks to move to safer grounds, as the River Tana has breached its banks, and floodwaters are encroaching into homes,” Musa stated.
Alfon Dhulo, a landlady in Mororo village, shared her harrowing experience, highlighting the repeated flooding that forces them to move their belongings outside whenever it rains. She has lost tenants due to the persistent problem, which is her main source of livelihood.
Safaro Abdulahi, a tenant, returned home to find her house inundated with water after a trip to Garissa town. Her children were rescued by neighbors, but they lost most of their possessions. She, as a single mother, emphasized the dire situation they face and the need for assistance.
Residents expressed their fears, with some worrying about the potential threat of crocodiles invading their homes, while others like Rehema Abdulrahman stressed their vulnerability to the recurring floods during the rainy season, which often results in extensive losses.
As the victims continue to seek refuge on a playing field, Mohamed Osman pointed out the critical need for shelter, medical assistance, and sanitation facilities. “Our utmost priority right now is shelter, medication, and toilets, considering that we have children and women with us. Other support will follow,” he urged.
Luwadesa Muyi, an elder from Mororo village, conveyed his gratitude to the Kenya Red Cross for their humanitarian support and called upon the government to step in and provide assistance to the victims during this challenging period of disaster.