5 January 2013

Kenya: Kangema DC Issues Warning After Mathioya River Landslide

Kangema DC Fredrick Muli yesterday warned residents to keep off River Mathioya after a massive landslide created a dam on the river on Thursday night.

The DC said there is a likelihood of the soil and debris holding the large volume of water giving in causing danger to the residents who live downstream. Muli said the landslide occurred on Thursday night following the heavy rains that have been pounding the area.

In his advisory, the DC, who is the chairman of the district's disaster management committee, asked residents to keep off from the banks of the river that is already swollen.

He said the landslide occurred one and a half kilometres upstream from where the Kahuti Water and Sanitation Company Ltd, which serves thousands of residents in Kangema and Kahuro districts, sources its water.

Muli warned that the pipes supplying the water may be damaged leading to a crisis. The company's technical manager Noah Nyamwok however said the landslide has not affected the flow of water to consumers so far.

Nyamwok led a team of engineers to the site to assess the situation yesterday. The river passes through Mathioya district, where DC Evans Matundura has issued a similar warning.

The landslide occurred in Tuthu village in Kanyanyaini location. Hundreds of acres under tea plantation risk being swept away if the dam gives in.

River Mathioya has its source in the Aberdare Forest, one of the country's largest water towers and a source to many rivers in the Mt Kenya region.

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