Kenya’s President orders relocation of people in landslide prone areas

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the relocation of people in floods and landslide-prone areas following the West pokot tragedy that left 29 people dead and several others missing.

In a statement issued from State House, President Kenyatta said he had directed the deployment of resources including rescue personnel from our various security and humanitarian agencies covering the Kenya Defence Forces, the National Police Service and Special Programmes to the affected region.

The tragedy occurred at 2.30am when houses in two remote villages were buried by the landslide following heavy rains pounding various parts of the country.

“I have directed Regional Commissioners in flood and landslide-prone regions of our country to work very closely with our security and humanitarian teams to ensure that citizens in these areas are urgently moved to safer grounds,” President Kenyatta said.

He also directed the deployment of resources “including rescue personnel from our various security and humanitarian agencies covering the Kenya Defence Forces, the National Police Service and Special Programmes to the affected region so as to provide mitigative action against further loss of lives.”

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said the tragedy affected two regions.

“We are saddened to confirm that 12 people from Tapach and Parua in Pokot South, and 17 from Tamkal in Pokot Central lost their lives,” Matiangi said in a statement.

Matiangi said search and recovery efforts were underway led by Rift Valley Regional Security Committee with the help of government and humanitarian agencies led by the Kenya Red Cross.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo described the incident as a major tragedy, and urged residents in the affected area to relocate.

West Pokot County Commissioner Appolo Okello said the recovery efforts were hampered by rains.

Two children had been rescued and rushed to hospital.