One dead as cholera spreads in camps for flood victims

Panic has gripped displaced persons camps in Madogo, Tana River County, following the death of one person in Vango village after exhibiting signs and symptoms related to cholera on Thursday, last week.

This brings the number of cholera cases in Tana River County to two after another person was reported to have died from the deadly disease in Gamba village, Garsen Constituency.

According the widow, Fatuma Hassan, her husband Omari Garachu 47 started complaining of stomach cramps moments after taking supper on Thursday evening.

He started to diarrhea and vomit. We became worried and rushed him to nearby Madogo Health Centre. He however succumbed three hours later, Fatuma said.

Tana River County, Kenya Red Cross coordinator, Gerald Pombe admitted that there are rising numbers of diarrhea cases in camps for flood victims.

We are worried since the levels of hygiene at these camps are wanting. The water used by victims for house chores and drinking was not treated, Pombe said.

Pombe said they are working closely with the department of public health to ensure high standard of hygiene is adhered to in the camps of Bakuyu, Ziwani, Anole and Mathengeni that hosts about 2,000 households.

He said the main challenge the humanitarian organisation is faced with is the acute shortage of toilets.

Some victims in these camps are forced to device other unhealthy ways of relieving themselves, including going to nearby bushes, aggravating the already poor hygiene conditions in the camps, he added.

He said a total of seven patients were admitted at Madogo health centre and four have been treated and discharged in the past one week.

Hamisi Radu, an elder at Vango village said the water the community was using is contaminated, since they draw it from a nearby seasonal river.We are sharing the same water with livestock and wild animals, Radu said.

They appealed to Tana River Water and Sewerage Company (TAWASCO), to repair the piping systems that were destroyed during the floods and restore supply. TAWASCO is yet to restore water supply to the town a week after the water subsided.

Kenya Power disconnected electricity to the boreholes supplying water to Madogo three weeks ago after the area was flooded.

Source: Kenya News Agency