18 March 2018

Kenya: Six More Die as Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc

Photo: Mary Wambui/Daily Nation
A woman and her son struggle to access their marooned home in Kilimambogo, Thika, Kiambu County on March 16, 2018.

Six people died over the weekend as rains continued to pummel many parts of the country.

In Makueni County, two children died after homes were swept away by floods in Musingini and Makutano villages.

Some 97 families were left homeless following a heavy downpour on Saturday night.

The bodies of the four-year-old girls were collected on Sunday by the roadside, several kilometres away from their homes.

GIRLS DIE

When the Nation visited the homes of Ndanu Mwenga and Rhoda Mutambu on Sundayy, their parents, other relatives and neighbours, were still trying to come to terms with the loss of lives.

"A neighbour alerted me before the rains subsided that he had seen two of my daughters sheltering from the rain without their younger sister, and this prompted me to rush home in the rains," Ms Josephine Kamanthe, Rhoda's mother, said.

Ms Kamanthe, who works as a domestic worker in a neighbouring home, found that her last born daughter had been swept away by a rivulet that had formed at a nearby path.

She and her neighbours searched for the girl in the compound and the neighbouring farms for hours, in vain.

On Sunday morning, passers-by found the girls' bodies on the roadside.

FLASH FLOODSIn Homa Bay County, two people were killed Sunday evening following heavy downpour.

According to Homa Bay OCPD Essau Ochorokodi, the two were travelling in a matatu when they were swept away by floods at Makongeni Estate in Homa Bay Town.

Mr John Odhiambo, the driver of the vehicle, which was travelling from Migori to Kisumu, said the flash floods had overwhelmed them.

Shauri Yako and Sofia slums were the most affected, with the people counting their losses in damaged property.

In Kisumu, the county has issued an alert on possible flooding after two people were swept away by flash floods at Obunga Estate.

EVACUATION

The two were found dead at two different places, one at Nyakwere and the other on the shore of River Kasarani Awaya in Obunga.

On Sunday, the Department of Special Programmes identified Manyatta, Nyalenda, Obunga, Migosi and Kolwa Central as prone to flash floods.

Others are Nyando/Ahero, Lower Nyakach and Muhoroni.

The department has also identified evacuation centres: Ombaka, Oren, Kogwedhe, and Magina; all in Muhoroni.

More than 250 families in Magarini Sub-County, Kilifi, have been displaced by floods after River Sabaki broke its banks.

On Thursday, three children aged between 10 and 13 died after they were swept away by flash floods on the banks of the river in Kisiki Cha Mzungu.

DISEASES

In Narok North Sub-County, commissioner Ronald Mwiwawi warned residents to keep way from Enoosamburumbur and Kakaya flood-prone trenches after two children were swept away on Friday evening.

"I also urge schoolchildren not to walk home when it is raining," Mr Mwiwawi said.

Mr Dickson Partoip Partoip, a local resident, said his brother and another person were swept away as they were walking home from Lemanet Village.

On Tuesday, a man died as he tried to cross a swollen trench at Majengo Estate in Narok Town.

In Nakuru County, more than 500 families living in the slums risk contracting diseases due to incomplete and open sewer lines.

SANITATION

Most of the homesteads in the low-end estates are surrounded by leaking sewers.

The worst affected areas, include Kaptembwa, Pondamali, Kwa Rhonda, and Kivumbini.

Meanwhile, Maai Mahiu chief Zacharia Igeria has asked the villagers in flood-prone Longonot area to be wary of floods.

He said gullies were filling up, posing a grave danger to the locals. Early last week, a Form Two student was swept to his death.

Reports by Pius Maundu, Elizabeth Ojina, Rushdie Oudia, Charles Lwanga, George Sayagie, Magdalene Wanja, Macharia Mwangi and Barack Oduor

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