The death toll from Saturday’s landslide in West Pokot has risen to 43, with focus shifted to help for displaced families.
Dozens of families are homeless after their house were buried by a landslide or swept away by floods remote villages following heavy rainfall pounding various parts of the country.
“I have received reports from search teams that the death toll has risen to 43,” said John Lonyangapuo, area Governor. He was referring to teams in Tawaka;, Nyarkulian and Tapach which took heavy casualties from the tragedy.
Regional Commissioner George Natembeya was set to issue a statement later Sunday.
On Saturday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said the government had “deployed military and police choppers to scale up responses and respond to immediate needs of affected families while rescue and recovery efforts remain a priority.”
Affected families were camping in schools, churches and other facilities far from their villages where houses were submerged, covering even animals.
“It is a major disaster, I have lost my family and my cows,” said Joseph Edapal.
Government response teams and the Kenya Cross Society had been relocating affected families in neighbouring homes and survivors to far-flung areas to avoid a repeat of the tragedy.
An official involved in the search operation said “The problem we are facing is where we are taking the bodies because the local mortuary Is full beyond capacity and bodies now have to be taken to Kapenguria.”
“We are also facing resistance from people who don’t want to move because they want to be allowed to bury their kin,” he added.