Flood victims blame poor works on dykes

By Renson Buluma

Flood victims in Budalangi have blamed their displacement by floods on shoddy rehabilitation works by National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation.

Speaking to the press at Magombe Khunambusi, one of the four points on the southern dyke that was broken, the displaced families led by Michael Congo said poor works had led to the flooding.

"Families have incurred heavy losses because certain individuals failed to take their responsibilities seriously," said Congo.

However the residents’ claims were refuted by the corporation’s resident water engineer John Gaturu who stated that the group had done the best they could.

Gaturu said the water levels in the River Nzoia had risen above the previous highest level of 5.8 metres to a new height of 6.4metres, a level nobody including water experts had anticipated.

"We did what was supposed to be done and has been commended by other engineers including the Prime Minister Raila Odinga who visited the area to assess the situation," said Gaturu.

But the displaced families said the dyke was broken over four times for the first time, something they claim resulted from poor workmanship.

Congo also claimed that failure by the Government to involve the locals -who he claims know the history of the dyke –was partly to be blame for continued breaching of the dyke by the marauding waters.

"As area residents we know those points that are weak because some of them used to be tributaries of River Nzoia and whenever there is too much water, these channels will be sought," said Congo.