29 October 2012

Kenya: Flash Floods Destroy Roads and Bridges

Photo: Henry Unini/Vanguard
Nollywood stars Chinedu Ikedieze and his friend Osita Iheme (Aki and Pawpaw) during a visit to some of the flood displaced persons in ICE camp, Asaba, Monday.

FLASH floods have destroyed bridges and washed away roads in Northern Kenya and forcing motorists to use longer and insecure routes.

Tourists visiting Samburu lodges from Isiolo had to use the Archers Post route after the bridge connecting the game reserves and lodges were destroyed by the Ewaso Nyiro River after it burst its banks.

The bridge constructed by the British Army to facilitate easy movement of the tourists two years ago and commissioned by the then Local Government minister Musalia Mudavadi was destroyed.

Vehicles travelling from Isiolo to Garba-Tulla route had also hectic time crossing a section of the bridge that was destroyed a week ago between Malbe Shilmi and Shab area.

Some of the trucks were forced to use Meru-Kinna GarbaTulla routes that were long and insecure forcing the owners to hike fare from shilling 600 to 1200 par passenger.

Yesterday, councillors Jafar Mohamed Tupi (Kulamawe ward) and Hassan Balla of Gafarsa ward said the vehicles plying the routes had hectic time accessing Isiolo through the road following flash floods upstream that led to destruction of a section of the road and bridge connecting the area from Garba-Tulla and Merti districts.

Tupi said truck owners have withdrawn their vehicles from the services and wondered wether the government will move with speed to repair the bridges and parts of the roads that were destroyed.

Some of the passengers travelling from Isiolo-Merti and Garba-Tulla are stranded in Isiolo for fear of getting stuck on the way due to heavy rains experienced in part of the region.

More than 10 trucks are also stuck at Gotu Bridge in Isiolo following overflow as Ewaso Nyiro River burst its bank due to heavy rains experienced upstream in the last two weeks.

Flash floods had also destroyed roads network along Isiolo-Marsabit and Moyale highway some distance away from Merille where the tarmacking exerccise had stopped.

Several Lorries and land rovers ferrying food items to the vast divisions of the district fear that the rains would continue to cause havoc and even destroy the remaining part of the road.

Isiolo acting District Commissioner Samuel Mburu had advised the locals to be cautious when crossing seasonal rivers especially when the region is experiecing rain.

He also appealed to those who live down stream to move to higher ground to avert disasters that are common in the region during rainy seasons.

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