Kenya: Havoc Reigns in Landslide-Prone Kerio Valley

3 December 2019

The ongoing heavy rains pounding various parts of the country have caused havoc in the North Rift region, resulting in displacement of several families and damage to the infrastructure.

Nyaru-Kimwarer road in Keiyo South in Elgeyo-Marakwet County has been cut-off following landslides experienced in the area.

Locals in Kabokbok, Soy South along Kerio Valley have been forced to move to higher ground.

Landslides have been reported at Kapsiekwa village in Muskut, Elgeiyo Marakwet following heavy downpour.

All families are safe after they heeded prior warning to move to safer ground.

The residents have however been warned against maintaining their residence in the area during this season.

"According to reports done during the assessment of Kimwarer Dam project, the area was said to have a fault line. People should not take this for granted," said county commissioner Dr Omar Ahmed.

Dr Ahmed added that they are working with the national government in seeking geological recommendations from experts so that they can properly advice people on safe areas to settle.

Area MCA Jonna Tanui said the government must look for an alternative land to resettle the families from the living along the escarpment.

"A landslide disaster killed people here in 2007 and from then, the national government has been promising people alternative land. However, it has just remained that, a promise," said Mr Tanui.

Mr Tanui said hundreds of families living in the area have nowhere else to move to.

According to Kenya Red Cross Rift Valley regional manager Nick Kemboi told Nation that no casualties had been reported following the incident.

"All residents had moved away from the area. It only the road that has been damaged," said the official.

Mr Kemboi said that his team was on high alert to monitor the situation in the landslide prone areas especially highland areas of Nandi, Elgeyo-Marakwet and West Pokot counties.

At the same time, cereal farmers in the North Rift region are counting huge losses after several acres of the produce were submerged by water as floods caused by heavy rains claim more lives and destruction of property.

Reporting by Evans Kipkura, Stanley Kimuge and Barnabas Bii

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