Church Mobilizes Aid for Flood Victims, Urges Long-Term Flood Mitigation Measures

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Archbishop Martin Kivuva of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa has urged the government to consider constructing large dams to avert the recurring floods that have resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people.

During the golden jubilee celebration of St. Joseph Catholic Church-Tudor Parish on Sunday, led by Rev. Fr. Richard Airo, Most Rev. Archbishop Kivuva prayed for fortitude for families who have lost their loved ones due to the heavy rainfall wreaking havoc in several parts of the country.

“The government should construct large dams to harvest the water because it is a big waste. Although there are floods after a short while the waters will subside and flow into the ocean and they will not have been helpful. They have caused devastating effects,” said Most Rev Archbishop Kivuva.

He emphasized the need for proper planning for the dams to harvest water from the rivers for domestic use, irrigation, and hydroelectric power generation. He noted that experts have likened the heavy rains wreaking havoc in several parts of the country to those witnessed in 1961, which resulted in people being relocated to other parts of the country.

The disasters should teach us lessons to put in place emergency systems that will offer quick response to victims,” said Rev. Kivuva, appealing for collaboration instead of blame games to assist victims.

“As a church, we have encouraged our stakeholders to contribute food and clothes to be distributed to victims in the centres they are holed in,” he added.

All the parishes under the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa have been instructed to inform their worshippers to contribute to alleviating the suffering of flood victims.

Regarding the doctor’s strike, Kivuva urged the medics to avert further crises and return to work to take care of Kenyans affected by the ongoing rains, even though they have not reached a consensus with the government.

Meanwhile, Malindi Catholic Diocese Bishop Willybard Lagho remarked that floods are not a new phenomenon in the country or the world, but the main setback is, “We don’t seem to learn from the past.”

“If someone constructs a house on a riparian land or a waterway there will be problems. Our biggest challenge as a country is that we have allowed the construction of houses on waterways and authorized construction of new buildings without improving the drainage,” said Bishop Lagho.

“Our engineers and leaders must introspect because some of the disasters are man-made and could be avoided,” he added.

Bishop Lagho disclosed that three Catholic-sponsored schools in Malindi are submerged in water due to farmers cultivating on river banks. He urged parents to monitor their children’s behavior to ensure they remain firm in their faith and do not stray.

“As a nation, we need to improve on our morals and good morals must be built from religion. Religion plays a pivotal role in shaping the morals of our children and leaders to be equitable,” said Bishop Lagho.

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