17 April 2013

Kenya: Narok Traders Count Losses As Floods Wreck Havoc

Photo: The Star
The military has been called in to help evacuate families affected by floods in various parts of the country (File photo).

FLOODs caused havoc in Narok town with the Nairobi- Narok- Bomet Road being blocked for the better part of Monday evening. Hundreds of commuters including tourists visiting the Maasai Mara game reserve were yesterday stranded for several hours.

There was traffic snarl up as vehicles from Nairobi stretched as far as ole Tipis Secondary School while those from Western Kenya reached as far as Total area.

"We feared we might be swept away. We had to stop until the waters subsides," said Peter Kirui, a Matatu driver. Business and household goods were swept away into Narok River while property worth millions of shillings was destroyed.

Traders interviewed by the Star could not hide their desperation. "This is the third time my stall is being swept every time we experience floods. We are asking our governor to help us start over," said Eunice Koech, vegetable vendor.

Narok OCPD Peterson Maelo urged people to keep off the town centre and move to higher grounds. Narok Central Business Association chairman David Sankok said the business fraternity has lost Sh350 million in the last three years through flooding.

"It's quite shaming to see a town, that was voted the most conducive place for business in Kenya by a World Bank survey, covered in mud," said Sankok.

He said both the central and local county governments must come up with new plans to prevent loss of lives and property. "If this is left unchecked, it will scare away investors who have shown interest in investing in the town," he said.

The Narok-based medic said the local government ministry had given the local town council funds to clean and open up water ways. "Where is the Sh441 million which had been earmarked for the rehabilitation of the drainage system? Since they were given the money last year nothing has been done to clean the town."

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