CS Mutua Swings Into Action After 5,000 Die In Turkey Earthquake

CS Mutua affirmed that Kenya stands in solidarity with Turkey and Syria...

CS Mutua Swings Into Action After 5,000 Die In Turkey Earthquake
Foreign Affairs CS Alfred Mutua at the Annual Kenya Diaspora Homecoming Convention in Nairobi on December 7, 2022. /ALFRED MUTUA

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS) Alfred Mutua has announced that the government will organise to offer relief aid to those affected by the devastating Turkey and Syria earthquake incident on Monday, February 6.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent to newsrooms revealed that the incident has left at least 5,000 dead, and thousands more injured with many yet to be found.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the South Eastern parts of Turkey and Northern Syria destroying several cities and settlements and causing massive destruction to property worth millions of shillings.

Speaking during a joint press briefing with the Turkish Ambassador to Kenya Subutay Yuksel, CS Mutua affirmed that Kenya stands in solidarity with Turkey and Syria and shares in the deep pain they are experiencing following the natural disaster.

Photo of the aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey on Monday, February 6, 2023. /FACEBOOK.EARTHQUAKE NEWS EVERYDAY

In solidarity with the affected countries, the government unveiled plans for the transportation of foodstuff including tea, coffee and nuts to the two affected nations and called on Kenyans of goodwill to join the initiative. 

Mutua further affirmed that the country will not just sit and watch the events unfold through global TV channels and talk about what is happening in Turkey and instead urged Kenyans to donate whatever they can to help those affected by the earthquake

“We have a responsibility to lend a hand to these two nations. I call upon Kenyans to join hands in extending material support that will alleviate human sufferings such as foodstuff, clothing, medical stuff, and finances among others,” said Mutua.

To effectively conduct the process, Mutua said they will, in the next few days, communicate the collection points of the donated items.

Religious groups were also beseeched to not only pray for Turkey and Syria but also have special offerings to alleviate the suffering of the thousands of families left destitute following the earthquake. Medical doctors and nurses wishing to assist in mitigating the effects of the disaster were also called upon to volunteer so that they be taken to assist in catering to the injured and those rescued from the rubbles.

Following a request from Ambassador Yuksel for the assistance of search and rescue operations, CS Mutua revealed that Kenya has an active search and rescue operations team in the Ministry of Interior and Internal Affairs which can assist Turkish authorities in seeking and rescuing survivors of the catastrophe, operations which were set up owing to the country's experiences with previous disasters.

“We are going to see how we are going to send Kenyans to be able to help because that is what is needed right now as a priority,” he said.

Ambassador Yuksel expressed his gratitude to Kenya for supporting Turkey at such a tough time and emphasised the need to ensure those still caught up in the rubbles are rescued and swiftly so.

“What is happening in Turkey is not only an intense earthquake but also a very unusual disaster as per to its extent. The Turkish government has mobilized every resource and means to intervene.

“Search and rescue efforts continue but time is of the essence. We appeal for assistance from the international community and once again, I’m grateful for the solidarity being shown,” he said.

CS Mutua further reiterated sentiments by Diaspora Affairs Principal Secretary Roseline Njogu that no Kenyan was reported dead or injured in the tragic earthquake.

"Following today's tragic earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Kenyan Embassy in Ankara confirms no reports of any Kenyan dead or injured. Kenyans affected by this earthquake can call the embassy hotline or send a direct message to us," Njogu's statement read in part.

PS Njogu advised Kenyans affected in Syria and Turkey to contact the government through the following details: embassy hotline +90(538)502 0960, email diaspora@mfa.go.ke

Diaspora Affairs PS Roseline Njogu being sworn into office on December 2, 2022. /TWITTER.ROSELINE NJOGU