By Rose Achiego
The Bishop of Lodwar, Rt. Rev. Dominic Kimengich, has appealed to the Government, the Christian faithful and people of good will to help in reconstructing the diocesan Pastoral Centre and St. Kevin Secondary School that were destroyed by flash floods that ravaged Lodwar Town late last month.
In an interview with the National Communications Network News, Bishop Kimengich said River Turkwel broke its banks and swept into St. Theresa Pastoral Centre and St. Kevin Secondary School, causing damage estimated to be over Kshs 11 million. He added that the floods also took the lives of four people and destroyed many other structures.
‘There was terrible flooding in Lodwar Town, which caused four deaths, destruction of property and loss of livestock,” said Bishop Kimengich. “In fact, the people of Turkana say the last time they saw floods like these was in 1969. River Turkwel broke its banks in a very forceful way and swept everything away.”
While coming to terms with the loss, Bishop Kimengich said the Diocese of Lodwar has contracted a structural engineer to assess the extent of the damage to the buildings and give a report on the way forward.
“The kitchen and dining hall were seriously affected – part of the kitchen has sunk and the walls have cracked,’ said the Bishop. “A lot of soil was also deposited. The Centre has now been vacated and no meetings can be held there, posing a major challenge to the diocese because we used to hold meetings, retreats and conferences there.”
Bishop Kimengich noted that flooding is becoming more frequent in Lodwar and called on the Government to build dykes along River Turkwel to prevent destruction and loss of land in the coming days.
“The Government must look at the issue of River Turkwel and identify areas where they can build dykes to prevent floods,” he said. “The situation is becoming more frequent than ever before. The Government should also find the best ways of supporting those who have lost their property.”
The Bishop blamed the heavy flash floods on climate change and called on members of the public and the Government to protect the environment by planting more trees.
“People have destroyed forests and other vegetation and nobody is taking care of the environment,” he said.
He noted that Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment, Laudato Si, is very timely and should be taken seriously to avoid the world experiencing catastrophes that will destroy our common home.
“This is what pope Francis’ has been saying,” said the Bishop. “We have to take care of the climate; we have to protect our environment. What the Pope is saying is true – this is the time to wake up and do what needs to be done to preserve the environment.”
Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si, is a worldwide wake up call to help humanity understand the destruction that man is rendering to the environment and his fellow man. While addressing the environment directly, the document’s scope is broader in many ways as it looks at not only man’s effect on the environment, but also the many philosophical, theological, and cultural causes that threaten the relationships of man to nature and man to each other in various circumstances.
Contribution to the Diocese of
Lodwar Flood Emergency Fund via M-Pesa (Safaricom).
1. Select “Pay Bill” from the M-Pesa menu.|
2. Enter the business number 308 107.
3. Enter account number e.g. donation.
4. Enter the amount you wish to pay.
5. Enter your M-Pesa PIN. 6. Confirm that all details are correct. 7. You will receive a confirmation of the transaction via SMS.