Government boosts supply of clean water to flood victim camps

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The Ministry of Water through the Northern Water Service Board, Garissa Water and Sewerage Company, the county government and other aid agencies has stepped up campaigns to supply clean and safe drinking waters for displaced victims in 10 camps in Garissa town and its environs.

Water CS Simon Chelugui while on a tour of the damaged water intake and sewerage infrastructure in Garissa town Friday said his ministry has distributed plastic water tanks to the camps as a stop gap measure to prevent the outbreak of cholera and other waterborne diseases.

He said that over 137 toilets collapsed during the recent flood and was a threat to the safety of drinking water bodies in the town.

The CS said the sewerage ponds are submerged and the sludge was likely to flow back and spill into the residential areas.

“There is likelihood of pollution of shallow wells. This is a crisis and disaster in waiting as outbreak of cholera and waterborne diseases is imminent,” Chelugui said.

“We have witnessed extensive damage at the water intake and sewerage systems. We have come up with counter measures to restore conventional water systems in Garissa town,” he added.

The CS said the relevant departments are looking at the possibility of building dykes to protect water intake, the treatment plant and the sewerage ponds.

Chelugui said the ministry is assessing the damages to the water infrastructure with the aim of soliciting for funds to restore them ‘as soon as possible’.

Area county commissioner Joshua Chepchieng said six primary schools hosting displaced families in Garissa town are yet re-open.

The schools are Tetu, Jaribu, Hyuga girls, Kizito, Young Muslim and Iftin primary schools.

The county commissioner said that although water levels have gone down, the threats of flooding remains especially along the river Tana.

Chepchieng urged families who moved to safer grounds to remain in the camps until they are advised otherwise.

He said the national governments is collaborating with the county administration and other aid agencies were doing ‘everything humanely’ possible to reduce the suffering at the camps.

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