The Kenya Air Force (KAF), as part of the Kenya Defence Forces in a multi-agency rescue mission, has been instrumental in facilitating the ongoing rescue operations in West Pokot.
This is after the areas of Parua, Nyarkulian and Muino were hit by a landslide tragedy that has so far seen the loss of 53 people, displaced and affected approximately 22,000 others.
H.E Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, ordered authorities to relocate residents in floods and landslide-prone areas following Saturday’s tragedy in West Pokot. “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,” said the President in a statement from State House.
The rains have paralyzed transport in some parts of the Country after rendering roads impassable and sweeping away bridges, thus making air transport to be the only convenient means for the search and rescue operations. KAF has assisted in the distribution of relief food, search and rescue of affected population and transportation of Government officials visiting the affected villages.
KAF aircrafts have so far facilitated the distribution of 2.3 tons of food stuff (sugar, rice and tea leaves) and blankets to the affected population. Apart from the Air Operations, a team of KAF Rapid Deployment Squadron (RDS) assisted by troops from 3KR, 9KR and Disaster Response Unit (DRU) have been conducting Search and Rescue Operations to retrieve bodies and evacuate the affected families to safer grounds.
West Pokot Director of Meteorological Services Wilson Lonyang’ole said that more rains are anticipated until Monday next week. In view of the aforesaid, KAF will continue to work with other Government agencies and humanitarian organizations to ensure that lives are protected and the basic needs of the affected citizens are met.