Kenya: Raging Floods, Rains Continue to Leave Trail of Destruction

A flooded Enziu River in Kitui County on April 25, 2018.

Heavy rains on Wednesday continued to leave a trail of destruction across the country.

More than 1,000 people were displaced after dams in Tana River County were submerged by the floods, spilling water into the villages.

Residents in sections of Galole constituency and larger parts of Tana Delta and Bura living near the dams have been forced to move to camps on higher ground.

Some of the bigger dams, constructed by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) in the county are overflowing into farms and villages.

NDMA County coordinator Abdi Mussa cautioned pastoral communities to be keen while grazing in flooded fields to avoid losing their livestock to some the unmarked dams.


Mr Abdi however said that most of the heavily flooded dams had been marked for residents' safety.

Ndakaini Dam in Murang'a County which supplies water to Nairobi has recorded an increase in its water volume by 6.7 percent within the last 14 days with 44.8 million meters cubed on Monday.

"The dam is just a reservoir which we run to when the rivers lack water. With the ongoing rains, chances are high we will build higher volumes (above 60 per cent) by mid-July," said the dam's coordinator Job Kihamba.

In Kitui County, hopes of recovering bodies of five people who went missing after drowning at River Enziu in Mwingi East sub-county continued to diminish.

Private professional divers failed to recover their bodies in a search that has been on for the last two weeks.


"I wonder why for the last two weeks no one from the government side has come to the aid of these families. This shows lack of commitment from the government," said an agitated Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi.

Meanwhile Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has said the government has enough food to feed people affected by floods across the country.

Speaking in Mandera on Tuesday as he wound up a one week long flood assessment mission in the vast Northeastern region, Mr Wamalwa said the ministry would supply food in Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu, Turkana, Mandera, Isiolo and Marsabit counties.

"There is enough food in our national stores to feed the flood affected families across the country and the distribution shall start within the week," he said.

He said there are over three million bags of maize in the national government strategic grain reserves that will be distributed.


About 15,000 people have been affected by floods in Mandera with transport paralysed. Mr Wamalwa said improved roads will ease transporting essential items for flood victims.

Schools in Homa Bay County incurred losses of unknown value following the ongoing rains, as families in neighbouring Kisii counted losses after their homes were logged.

In Kisii, at least 100 families were displaced by floods. At Nyataro area, South Mugirango three houses and a church were marooned by floods yesterday.

In other areas, the residents have been forced to move uphill to avoid being injured by falling houses.

In Bobasi sub county, the girls' latrine at Isena Mixed sunk after due to heavy rains.

Some buildings in the school developed cracks on the walls exposing students to danger.


School Principal Henry Matonda said the entire school stands condemned owing to the cracks. He warned of a health crisis.

"Teachers and students may be scrambling for one toilet and we are only appealing for quick help from the constituency kitty to help us build new facilities," he told the Nation.

County disaster chief officer Doris Nyokangi said they are doing everything at their disposal to reach out to those affected. She appealed to residents in flood prone areas to move to safer areas.

Homa Bay County Director of Adult Education Justus Muchwara said the rains have affected at least 39 schools in the last one month.

He said most of the affected institutions lost pit latrines as others had their dormitory, class walls and roofs damaged.

"Most schools lost important infrastructure such as latrines. Most of them are filled up or sunk," he said.


"The affected schools are Sindo, Lambwe, Gingo, Seka, Gendo primary schools among others. The roof of an administration block at Misa Primary School was blown off," said Mr Muchwara.

In Rachuonyo North sub county, learning has been temporarily paralysed in at least two schools after villagers turned them into temporary shelters.

Mr Muchwara said residents around Osodo and Kobuya Primary schools have camped at the institutions.

"2,238 villagers have moved into the two institutions together with their domestic animals. The floods have prevented 1,068 pupils in these schools from returning to class," he said.

Mr Muchwara said the floods have destroyed property in Miranga, Kandiege, Kendu Muslim, Ombogo, Kobuya secondary schools among others.


In Suba North, at least nine schools have incurred damages due to heavy rains and strong winds.

The schools are Ogando, Nyasanja, Rapora, Masisi primary among others whose pit latrines were also flattened by the waters.

In Ndhiwa sub county, one dormitory was destroyed at Magina Girls High school.

Mr Muchwara appealed to residents around the schools to allow pupils and students to use their toilets in the meantime.

"Defecation will be a challenge in the affected school. I am appealing to villagers to assist pupils whose pit latrines have been filled up or damaged by rain," he said.

Reported by Mary Wambui, Barack Odour, Magati Obebo, Boniface Mwaniki, Stephen Odour and Manase Otsialo

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