23 Dead After Disease Outbreak Ravages County

  • Equipment and beds at the Kenyatta University Referral Hospital.
    Equipment and beds at the Kenyatta University Referral Hospital.
    File
  • Over 23 Kenyans have lost their lives since the outbreak of cholera in Marsabit County in mid-March 2020.

    Members of the local fishing communities residing on Abalakwa Island in Lake Turkana and Illeret village have called upon the national government to come to their rescue.

    Humanitarian organisations in the area report that over 300 Kenyans have been infected with the deadly disease as residents claim no meaningful help has been forthcoming from the national government despite numerous appeals. 

    A nurse attends to a cholera patient at a hospital in Kisumu in 2018
    A nurse attends to a cholera patient at a hospital in Kisumu in 2018
    File

    Grieving residents have been appealing for help in retrieving the bodies of their loved ones who succumbed to the disease, citing difficulty in accessing the island which is controlled by Ethiopian families.

    A feature by NTV on May 13, 2020, reported that some of the bodies of the deceased had been tossed into the lake.

    "According to what they have told us. We are expecting more. We have failed because it could have been our first priority since the island is on the Kenyan side, but we have not gone there, and have a report of the island," a humanitarian in the region stated.

    Joseph Loki, a resident of Ileret village lost his sister and two children who were on the island to the disease.

    "The government should intervene since we have an ambassador from Ethiopia in Kenya, and we have our own in Ethiopia. So negotiation between them could be easy and could help us retrieve the bodies," Loki urged.

    Containment of the disease in the region has become difficult as the residents lack clean water sources and are forced to consume contaminated water from the lake.

    "We don't have borehole water here. Water can be scarce and people have to drink water from the lake. This is what causes the severe diarrhoea and vomiting," a resident asserted.

    On April 29, Marsabit County Health Executive Jamma Wolde revealed that 134 people had been taken to hospital at the time for treatment after contracting Cholera. 

    The cholera outbreak comes at a time the country is grappling with containing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic as the bulk of government resources are diverted to the fight against the virus.