Posted April 20, 2020 6:38 pm by

Death toll following Elgeyo Marakwet-West Pokot mudslide rises to 12 after more bodies were retrieved

[additional reporting by Njoki Kihiu]

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – The death toll from the mudslide tragedy that occurred at the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties rose to 12 Monday, after eight more bodies were found.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said a search and rescue operation was underway, because more than 20 people remained missing.

“We have unfortunately retrieved eight more bodies today,” he said, “one of them is that of a police officer who was among the missing people.”

The landslide occured on Saturday night, during heavy rains that caused massive floods that was away homes, displacing at least 4,000 people.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the Interior Ministry to cordinate the evacuation of locals, for movement to higher grounds to avert another crisis in the area.

On Monday, the ministry sent out a Cable to all County Commissioners to cordinate efforts of moving people to higher grounds.

Areas targetted include Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Murang’a and Taita Taveta, officials said.

And since Sunday, Kenya Air Force has been airlifting relief supplies to the affected people to help alleviate their suffering in the humanitarian crisis.

“We are also held up here due to the heavy rains. The search and rescue operation will continue tomorrow (Tuesday),” Natembeya told Capital FM News.

Kenya Meteorological Department has warned of more rainfall in the region and other parts of the country.

“We are putting our heads together and organising ourselves to deal with a clearly impending challenge,” Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said Monday at a joint press briefing with Cabinet colleagues from Devolution, Environment and Energy, “we are working jointly to see how we can effectively support the Kenyans camping in schools and other facilities to avoid the negative consequences of the rains.”

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his cabinet colleagues during Monday press conference.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko appealed to the public to heed to the metrological department’s advisory on climatic changes in order to save lives and property.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa also urged all Governors to play their role in preventing and containing such disasters, while assuring that the government was ready to support the affected families with food and other basic needs.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said that all dams in the country are full at maximum capacity due to the torrential rains.

“In the next two days, those people living in the lower parts of Garissa and Tana River must move Read More…