13 November 2017

Kenya: Rains Continue With Spate of Destruction

Heavy rains continued to wreak havoc in parts of the country; damaging crops, destroying property and major roads.

In Homa Bay County, at least 10 farmers at Kanyikela Ward in Ndhiwa are counting losses after their crops, including maize, beans, tobacco, cassava and millet were destroyed.

Strong winds also blew off roofs from two buildings.

ROADS

Mr Joram Okolla, whose 10 acres of maize and beans was destroyed in Otange village, said he had lost crops worth about Sh110,000.

Other villages affected include Minyere, Gul-Kopondo and Ariri.

In Migori County, several murram roads have been rendered impassable.

Cane farmers are the most affected since their produce cannot reach Sony Sugar Factory in Awendo.

"Sometimes our cane is stolen from the immobile tractors at night. Sony should suspend cane transport in the affected areas until the roads are improved," a farmer in Ogwedhi, Mr John Okello, said.

KCSE EXAM

Motorists in the eight sub-counties are now forced to use longer routes to avoid the damaged sections.

The road situation in Kilifi County is similar.

Ganze deputy county commissioner Mohamed Mwabudzo, however, said the distribution of KCSE exam papers has not been affected by the rains.

"As we speak now most roads are impassable in Midoina and Rima Ra Pera," he said.

TRANSPORT

Mr Mwabudzo said some areas of Sokoke and Jaribuni were also affected by the rains.

However, in Kitui County the exam was delayed after the vehicle transporting the papers was swept away while crossing River Karura in Mwingi Central.

A school principal and his driver escaped unhurt after their Land Rover was overpowered by the swollen river in the morning

The maths and biology exam papers were retrieved by Good Samaritans.

Kitui County commissioner Boaz Cherutich said a rescue team was quickly mobilised to dispatch the exams safely to schools as the principal, driver and some invigilators were given alternative means of transport.

WATER SUPPLY

In Meru, the rains have led to water shortages in the town and its environs.

Meru Water and Sewerage Services acting technical manager Christopher Murithi said rains had led to blockage of intakes, making it difficult to pump water to treatment plants.

In a message to customers, the firm stated: "Due to heavy rains, the water received at the treatment plant is extremely muddy and untreatable. We are doing all we can to normalize supply."

DEMONSTRATION

Mr Muriithi also said frequent power outages had hampered pumping of water and urged Kenya Power to solve interruptions speedily.

Separately, irate Juja, Kiambu County, residents on Monday held demonstrations protesting the poor state of roads, especially the road leading to Juja Farm from Juja flyover.

The residents, waving placards and twigs, accused the county leadership of failing to repair the roads, whose condition has been worsened by the rains.

Attempts by their MP Francis Waititu to calm the protesters were futile, but he later assured them that Governor Ferdinand Waititu would address the issue.

FLOODS

In Embu, acting county secretary Wilson Ireri and his family escaped unhurt after their vehicle was swept away by flash floods on the seasonal River Muiru, in Mutuobare.

He was travelling from Kindaruma when the vehicle got stuck and attempts to push it did not help as it was carried away by raging waters.

The occupants got out and escaped to safety.

Reports by Barrack Oduor, Elisha Otieno, Mary Wambui, Kazungu Samuel, Andrew Malonza, Kitavi Mutua and Charles Wanyoro

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