The government has begun forcefully evicting people out of areas prone to flooding, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a press address in Nairobi, CS Matiang’i said security personnel in the flood-hit areas, especially in the North-Eastern and Eastern regions, had been given the green light to use force where necessary.
The CS noted that negotiation with locals was not working hence the need to use force where required.
“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.
The tough-talking minister however urged locals to abide by the government directives and relocate willingly rather than wait to be moved.
“We are not waiting for people to be swept downstream, we are moving some people away from danger using public resources. 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,” said Matiang’i.
At the same time, the government announced families affected by floods will be incorporated to receive Sh1,000 weekly allocation that is currently being distributed to vulnerable families affected by the coronavirus.
ICT CS Joe Mucheru said some families that have been displaced by the floods had already started receiving the funds.
On Wednesday, the government said 30 people had died within the last 24 hours of flooding, bringing the total tally over the last three weeks to 194.
Another 100,000 people have since been displaced in the same period.