23 May 2018

Kenya: Hundreds Displaced, Transport Paralysed as Rains Persist

Photo: Peter Warutumo/Daily Nation
A trailer is stuck in River Kawalase after being swept away downstream on May 24, 2018.

Hundreds of people have been displaced as heavy rains continue to pound parts of the country.

In Baringo County, transport along the Iten-Kabarnet road was paralysed on Tuesday for more than 10 hours after mudslides blocked the route near Tambach Teachers' College.

When the Nation visited the scene on Tuesday, about 50 youths were struggling to clear the road as hundreds of passengers complained of a slow response by the authorities. In Turkana, transport was paralysed after several permanent and seasonal rivers burst their banks on Monday.

Transport and learning were paralysed and many houses destroyed in Kalemngorok, Kalotum, Turkwel, Kospir, Kawalase, Kaloboyei and Napasinyang areas.

FLOOD WATERS

The Kitale-Lodwar highway has been cut off at Kainuk bridge after three trucks were submerged in the flood waters.

Meanwhile, more than 100 residents of Itare village in Kisii County camped at Itare Primary School after their houses were swept away by heavy rains.

One of the affected people, Mr Samwel Mokua, told the Nation that his house was submerged around 8 pm, forcing him to seek refuge at his neighbour's house with his wife and four children.

Elsewhere, eight more houses were affected as rains pounded Kenyenya region. At Riyabu and Magena, at least four families were left in the cold as heavy rains pounded the region.

SUFFERED HUGE LOSSES

In Tana River County, the government will require an additional Sh2.8 billion to its budget to get back to its previous status before the floods.

Speaking during an emergency food launch in Hola, Governor Dhadho Godhana said the county had suffered huge losses due to floods.

"Our analysis indicates Sh2.8 billion, which will get us back to where we were before the floods," he said, urging the national government to come to the county's rescue.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, who visited the county on Monday, pledged support from the national government.

"We will be with our people, now and the days after floods. We shall support you fully until you are back on your feet," he said.

In Nakuru County, heavy rains have rendered roads in the agriculture-rich areas of Kuresoi, Molo and Njoro impassable, with farmers counting huge losses.

POOLS OF WATER

Farmers interviewed by the Nation said their perishable produce, which includes milk, vegetables and potatoes, had been hit badly. "The produce can't get to the market," they said.

"Lorries cannot access the farms because the roads have been turned into pools of water. I appeal to the county government to intervene. We are incurring huge losses," said Mr Joseph Towett, a farmer.

Meanwhile, scores of passengers were stranded along the Sipili-Ol Moran road following a heavy downpour that has rendered the 18-km road impassable. "I was forced to postpone my journey after being stuck in the mud," said Mr Kariuki Maina, a resident. At the same time, governors want the Disaster Risk Management Bill fast-tracked to ensure a coordinated response and preparedness for emerging tragedies.

RISK MANAGEMENT

The Bill provides for the creation of a Disaster Risk Management Authority to co-ordinate disaster response measures.

Council of Governors Water and Forestry Committee chairman Kiraitu Murungi said this as he announced establishment of a joint mechanism to respond to disasters.

Reported by Stanley Kimuge, Sammy Lutta, Kennedy Kimanthi, Benson Ayienda, Stephen Odour, Eric Matara and Steve Njuguna

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