Gov’t begins forceful evictions in flood-hit areas as death toll hits 194


Gov't begins forceful evictions in flood-hit areas as death toll hits 194
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i addresses the press on April 20, 2020. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • 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."

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 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.”

“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.

“If we do not move the population we have along the water ways, we’re going to have disasters. We do not have an option, we’re moving some people out by force.”

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, speaking during the same presser, said in addition to the 194 deaths recorded, another 100,000 people had been displaced since the floods began.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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