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Kenya: Kisumu Leaders Trade Blame as Rains, Surging Lake Levels Displace Hundreds




Kisumu — Lawmakers in flood-prone areas in Kisumu came under fierce criticism on Saturday for failing to support mitigation measures to address displacement of persons due to flood emergencies.

Ruth Odinga, Special Programs Senior Advisor to Governor Anyang Nyong’o, accused Aduma Owuor (Nyakach), Jared Okello (Nyando), Mathews Onyango (Muhoroni) and Shakeel Shabbir (Kisumu East) of letting down their constituents, leaving the county government to shoulder the responsibility for raging floods that have displaced over 200 households so far.

“Where are our elected leaders, especially MPs? This issue should not be left to the county government alone, the legislators must bring their input in addressing this situation,” she remarked.

Odinga said no MP has come out to help the county government with coordination regarding supply of relief food and other essentials.

Odinga said the MPs have a responsibility to lobby the national government through parliament to help in dredging of rivers in the area whose raising water levels have resulted in the displacement of persons in some parts of the county.

“We have River Nyando, a major contributor to floods in Nyando area, when was it last dredged? The MPs should source for funds from the national government to do such works,” she said.

Odinga noted that the county government has been on the receiving end since flood water displaced thousands from their homes despite what she insisted was a prompt response.

Odinga announced early in the week that a multi-agency team comprising the county and national governments, UNICEF, PLAN International and Red Cross were coordinating assistance to the flood victims.