Govt to forcibly evict Kenyans in flood-hit areas as death toll hits 194

Residents use a boat to evacuate with their animals from the floodwaters after River Nzoia burst its banks and due to the backflow from Lake Victoria, in Buyuku village of Budalangi, in Busia County, Kenya May 2, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Nairobi – Kenya Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i now says the government has begun forcefully evicting people out of areas prone to flooding following the heavy rains witnessed in the country in recent weeks.

This comes as the government on Wednesday, May 6 announced that 30 people had died within the last 24 hours of flooding, bringing the total tally over the last three weeks to 194.

CS Matiang’i, speaking during a press address in Nairobi on Wednesday, said security apparatus in the flood hit areas, especially in the North Eastern and Eastern regions, had already been given the green light to use force where necessary.

The tough-talking CS said negotiation with residents of such areas was not working saying: “…as public leaders we have a responsibility to protect lives and so we would rather negotiate with you when you’re alive.”

A man takes a photograph of a flooded village after River Nzoia burst its banks and due to the backflow from Lake Victoria, in Nyadorera, Siaya County, Kenya May 2, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

“We have instructed the County Commissioners and the county security teams in Garissa and Tana River to move everyone away; even if it means putting them on lorries ourselves and getting them out of danger,” said Matiang’i.

He, however, urged them to abide by the government directives and relocate out of their own volition rather than waiting to be moved.

“We have given instructions to our regional security team in North Eastern and parts of Eastern and Coast to begin moving people. We are not waiting for people to be swept downstream, we are moving some people away from danger using public resources,” he said

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