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Counties gr*pple with effects of floods as heavy rain rages on

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 07:49 | By
A resident of Kinanie, Machakos County on top of a tree she was marooned after Athi River broke its banks yesterday. She was however rescued by Kenya Red Cross and the County government personnel. PHOTO/Print
A resident of Kinanie, Machakos County on top of a tree she was marooned after Athi River broke its banks yesterday. She was however rescued by Kenya Red Cross and the County government personnel. PHOTO/Print

The raging floods continued to wreak havoc across parts of the country, leading to more displacements.

In Homa Bay county, an estimated 1057 households are camping at Simbi K’Ogembo dispensary, Osodo and Kobuya primary schools’ evacuation centres in Rachuonyo North sub-county after they were forced out of their homes by the floods.

Several homes in the area are marooned after River Miriu burst its banks.

County commissioner Moses Lilan said the floods effects have continued to persist following heavy downpour in the area.

Lilan said floods had affected at least 1731 households in the county, with some being in Remba Island.

Lilan announced that plans are underway by government agencies to construct dykes and desilt some local rivers to curb the floods problem.

“Much of the problems we are experiencing from floods are due to rivers bursting their banks. The government is determined to ensure this issue is tackled,” he said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Homa Bay County government has introduced a toll-free number 0800000870 to help families affected by floods.

County Climate Change Director Roy Odongo said the devolved unit will evacuate families marooned by floods.

“We’ve conducted an assessment to determine the magnitude of the crisis in the affected areas. The county government is open to giving assistance to anyone in need,” he said.

In Nyando sub-county, Kisumu county, several families rendered homeless by raging floods are still camping at various evacuation centres.

In Kakola-Ombaka area, 260 households displaced by floods are putting up at Ombaka primary school while others were integrated within the community.

Area assistant chief Jacob Ong’udi said the most affected are Kaloo South, Kaloo North, Kanyipula South and Kasambura/Kamahawa villages.

Ong’udi said yesterday that several houses have been destroyed in the villages by the floods as others are still submerged.

“We’ve noted the water levels are beginning to subside. But generally the effect is adverse,” he said, noting that the victims are in dire need of humanitarian assistance to make ends meet.

Nyanza regional commissioner Flora Mworoa said most areas in Kisumu, Migori, Siaya and Homa Bay counties were adversely affected by floods and the displaced families have moved to camp sites.

Mworoa said the floods had majorly been occasioned by some seasonal rivers breaking their banks thus displacing thousands from their homes.

In Mombasa, the rains left flooded homesteads, blocked sewers and impassable roads.

A number of roads in Nyali and parts of Kisauni were impassable as residents in the affected areas decried poor drainage.

“Accessing town through Nyali has been a problem of late. The road is really flooded right at the valley next to Basic Nyali mall. Occasionally we are forced to look for alternative route and end up in gridlock,” explained Gerald Omondi, a matatu driver.

In Junda, a floods prone area in the North East of Mombasa Island, roads were completely submerged in floods bringing a number of businesses to a standstill.

Disrupted lives

Transport at the border of Kiambu and Machakos Counties was yesterday cut off after River Athi burst its banks and overran the main bridge at Donyo Sabuk paralysing all economic activities conducted in the two ridges.

Traders and motorists using the link were stuck as the raging floods disrupted all activities.

The ongoing heavy rains have disrupted lives as traders have shut down their businesses while people travelling to Thika town and villages within Machakos county have been left stranded.

Area residents John Thuku and Nicholas Mutua who use the route frequently, lamented that despite years of agitating for a solution, nothing has been done to ensure their lives continue normally during rainy seasons.

In Nyamira county, strong winds ripped off all classroom roofs in Nyakemicha mixed secondary school in West Mugirango constituency, after strong winds brought on by a hurricane.

The same hurricane uprooted gum trees planted in the school compound and extensively damaged the toilets of the neighbouring Nyakemicha primary school.

The school Principal Leonard Murungi said damages caused are estimated to be over Sh1 million.

Murungi said that the most affected was a science laboratory room where the equipment was extensively damaged.

Area MP Steve Mogaka accompanied by the area MCA Julius Matwere visited the institution to assess the damaged caused.

Mogaka said his CDF office will put up new roofs and the construction of the toilets damaged before schools open for second term next week.

In Kajiado county, heavy downpour on Saturday night caused heavy flooding in Kitengela town and its environs to the chagrin of residents who blame the menace on clogged drainages.

Most feeder roads including the tarmacked sections remained impassable causing heavy traffic snarl up along Nairobi-Namanga road highway which lasted for hours.

The existence of the Mazingira unit launched by the county boss Joseph Ole Lenku to manage waste has also been blamed for sleeping on the job.

In Machakos county, residents of Syokimau and Katani have been urged to relocate to safer areas, after their homes were submerged by floods due to heavy rainfall.

County Chief of Staff Lawrence Ngovi advised families affected by the floods to relocate immediately until the government declares the areas safe for living.

Safer grounds

Ngovi spoke at 360 apartments in Syokimau when he led a multi-agency team to tour the area and assess the situation. “We are not sure of the rains, so find safer areas to go to avert loss of lives and property,” he said.

Athi River Deputy County Commissioner Patrick Mwangi assured them that the government will evacuate all families affected by the floods.

Mwangi attributed the flooding to poor drainage and asked residents to relocate to safer grounds.

Similarly, in Murang’a county, residents living in landslide-prone areas have been urged to be on the lookout as many parts of the county continue to experience heavy downpours.

The County Director of Meteorology Anthony Kinyua said the soils are saturated and steep areas can have land or mudslides.

Kinyua noted that some parts of the upper zones have witnessed mudslides, saying that, unfortunately, the mudslides have caused huge destruction of property.

Mudslides have been reported in some parts of the county due to debris blocking roads, prompting residents in steep terrain to be on the look out for potential landslides.  “Murang’a has witnessed huge landslides in the past, causing loss of lives and destruction of property, thus the need to take caution,” added Kinyua.

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