Two Kenyan police officers are among six people killed by landslides at the northwest’s West Pokot-Elgeyo Marakwet border following heavy rains on Saturday night, officials said Monday.
“One officer was found dead while a second one succumbed to injuries after he was airlifted for specialized treatment at Moi Referral and Teaching Hospital in Eldoret,” Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya told Xinhua.
Four people were confirmed dead on Sunday, bringing the total number of those who have died from the mudslides to six.
Floodwaters on Saturday evening swept away Chethe sogon market, two local schools and a police station.
On Sunday, residents launched a rescue mission before police and rescue teams arrived to trace several people who went missing after the incident.
West Pokot County Commissioner Apollo Okello with rescue teams are still combing the wet terrain to find survivors.
“There are a number of people who cannot be accounted for. We are still looking for them. Rescue teams are tracing them along the river Chesogon,” Okello told Xinhua.
The official also said they are mobilizing local residents to move to safer ground to avert disaster as heavy rain continues to pound the area.
“We have asked residents living in the affected to cooperate with the government agencies and move out from unsafe areas and if they fail to do so we may be forced to use force to prevent further loss of lives,” Okello warned.
Heavy rains have hit several parts of West Pokot, damaging heavily Chesogon market that was rebuilt last year on the border of the two counties to help foster peaceful interaction and coexistence of the warring communities.
Humanitarian agencies led by Kenya Red Cross Society said the heavy rains occurred in the highlands, causing serious damage on the downwards.
“The heavy rains poured in the highlands but the damage downwards was so traumatizing as the running waters cut across the villages sweeping away heavy boulders, tree stumps and houses,” the Red Cross official said.
Environmentalists raised concern over environmental depletion in the affected region and urged for the cultivation of trees which will reduce the impacts of floods. Enditem