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Chinese firms collected $30,000 for Kenyans affected by floods, landslides

Christian Fernsby |
Chinese companies on Friday donated food and non-food items worth about 3 million shillings ($30,000) to support residents in Kenya's northwestern county of West Pokot, which was hit by floods and landslides.

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Li Changgui, chairman of Kenya China Economic and Trade Association (KCETA), told journalists in Nairobi that Chinese firms operating in the country are concerned about the natural disaster triggered by heavy rains. The donation of humanitarian supplies includes blankets, sanitary pads, mattresses, and cooking materials.

KECTA is working in coordination with the county government of West Pokot and the Chinese embassy in Kenya in a coordinated humanitarian response to provide supplies that are most needed by local communities and ensure that they can be delivered to reach those in need, Li said.

Li added that KCETA, which represents over 100 Chinese enterprises doing business in Kenya, is committed to doing everything within its capacity to help reduce the impact of the disaster.

According to the United Nations, landslides and mudslides in parts of West Pokot County resulted in the death of at least 72 people and displacement of about 10,000 people on Nov. 22.

Wu Peng, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, thanked the Chinese companies for their contributions, noting that their other efforts both philanthropic and commercial have helped spur Kenya's economic growth and social transformation.

"Chinese companies have been working in Kenya for many years and are always making major contributions to Kenya through hiring local staff and donating to local communities amongst other areas. We are proud of their efforts and hope they can continue to support local communities," Wu said.

He revealed that the Chinese donation conveys a clear message that the Chinese community in Kenya is determined and ready to stand alongside the Kenyan people through tough times.

The Chinese envoy added that Chinese companies have already taken immediate and concrete measures to help the West Pokot county dredge roads so as to reduce the consequences of the disaster to a minimum.

During the donation ceremony, John Lonyang'apuo, West Pokot county governor thanked the Chinese firms for their contributions and fast response in their donations as well as efforts to repair the roads which are critical for their emergency relief efforts.

"We are very grateful for the contribution from the Chinese companies and will make sure they reach those people who are in such great need," Lonyang'apuo said.

He noted that between 5,000 and 10,000 people have been adversely affected by the floods and are in dire need of basic household items.

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