NAIROBI, Kenya

A Turkish-German charity working with Turkey’s state-run aid agency distributed Wednesday relief food to 1,200 households in northern Kenya.

The Hasene International and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency handed out the aid for people living along the River Tana.

On May 13, 700 homes were submerged and more than 5,000 people left homeless as water from the River Tana overflowed, destroying roads, farms and sweeping away animals in the area where many are ethnic Kenyan-Somalis practicing nomadic pastoralism.

Under the coordination of TIKA office in Nairobi, the relief food was distributed among flood victims and disadvantaged families headed by single mothers.

“Due to the [COVID-19] pandemic and travel restrictions, the Turkish NGOs could not travel to northern Kenya, but we as TIKA facilitated and coordinated logistics and necessary permits for a safe implementation together with local partners,” said Emre Yuksek, the TIKA coordinator in Nairobi.

“We are not only reaching urban poor but also rural communities that are suffering from both environmental challenges and negative impacts of the pandemic. We will keep our support together with the Turkish civil society and the Turkish government.”

One of the beneficiaries, Rukiya Abdallah Dube, 49, from Kamuthe location in Garissa county said that she has not been able to sell camel milk in the market for the last three months due to COVID-19 restrictions and has suffered a lot with a household of seven.

She thanked the Germany-based Turkish charity as they remembered the needy people during the currently prevailing difficult times of COVID-19.

The exercise took place in 25 different locations in Tana River and Garissa countries.

According to the Kenya government, 237 people have died due to floods that have been pounding the East African nation since April, and 104,000 have been displaced.

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