The government says it is working around the clock to ensure maximum support is given to all the affected persons in West Pokot County following the Saturday night landslide incident in which over 40 people lost their lives.
Addressing the press Monday in Eldoret, Interior and Coordination of National Security cabinet secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i, his devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa and Inspector General of the Police Hillary Mutyambai said the government is committed to addressing challenges of West Pokot residents.
Dr. Matiang’i said the government is working closely with the West Pokot County leadership on the ongoing rescue mission.
On his part, the Police IG said the rescue teams are moving families to safer grounds and taking the injured to nearest hospitals.
He added that the rescue mission is however being hampered by the poor weather.
The government officials were Monday morning forced to land in Eldoret after being advised that the helicopters could not fly into Kapenguria due to bad weather.
Meanwhile, sixteen people are still receiving treatment at Kapenguria County hospital while two who were in critical conditions were referred to Moi Teaching and referral hospital in Eldoret following Saturday night landslide incident.
Speaking to the press Monday at the county hospital, Dr. Moses Deng said that most of the patients sustained minor injuries and only one had a fracture.
“All the 16 patients are in stable condition and one of the patients had a fractured leg. Most of the patients had soft tissue injuries,” he said.
Deng further said several patients were Sunday evening treated and discharged.
At the facility some of the residents who lost their beloved ones had come to view the bodies of their relatives.
William Lokapel said that he lost three children in the incident and the bodies were lying at Kapenguria morgue.
“Their mother and two other children managed to escape but we were unable to rescue the three children as the landside came with full force,” he said.
Marko Yeko a class seven pupil at Karelechon primary school is nursing head injuries at the male ward in the facility.
The fourteen-year boy thanked the Lord for saving his live after the landslide hit their village.
“I have nothing to say but to thank God I know very soon I will be leaving this hospital and go back to my family,” he said.
West Pokot County has set up a psychosocial support desk to offer counseling centres in all areas that were affected by weekend landslide.
Chief Officer for Health Milka Psiwa said most of the residents were traumatized and they needed counseling immediately since most of their beloved ones’ bodies had not been recovered.
“Most of the bodies have been carried away and it might be hard to recover them that’s why we have established counseling centres,” she said.
Psiwa also disclosed that medical team had been dispatched to affected areas to help in treating the bodies since they cannot be moved to the mortuary after roads were swept away.
She said that they have also distributed drugs to all residents in the county to help in treating water for home consumption since currently most water sources have been infected.
West Pokot County Executive Member for Health Geofrey Lipale said that the county morgue cannot handle the bodies and said that they have asked Kitale County Referral Hospital to help them with the storage.
“Our morgue has no capacity to handle all the bodies and we have talked to our counterparts to help us in storing the bodies,” he said.
By the time of going to press, nine bodies were at the morgue and they were expecting more bodies to be retrieved today.
“Out of 15 bodies retrieved yesterday we have received nine bodies and others are still in the village since rescue team is unable to access the villages,” he said.
“We have one patient at Tamkal dispensary who broke his leg and we are unable to referrer him to the county hospital since the road is impassable,” he said.