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Heavy rains leave trail of destruction and relief as weatherman predicted

By Hillary Orinde | Published Sun, March 4th 2018 at 09:05, Updated March 4th 2018 at 09:04 GMT +3
Nairobi County Governments have failed to deal with the drainage problem [Courtesy]

Nairobi County’s poor and tattered drainage system has once again been overwhelmed in a non-emergency situation and brought the city’s worst froth to the surface.

Scenes of filth, fallen trees, impassable roads, flooded roundabouts, stranded commuters, stalled trucks, long traffic jams and submerged cars have returned with the rainfall predicted by the weatherman.

In its latest advisory, Kenya Meteorological Department had forecasted that Nairobi and counties in Western, Rift Valley, Nyanza would receive heavy rainfall from March 1, 2018.

“On Saturday March 3 counties in Western, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Central and South-eastern lowlands are expected to continue receiving heavy rainfall in the afternoon. The rains will reduce in intensity over the eastern, coast and northern regions but moderate rainfall will continue over the rest of the country,” said Kenya Meteorological Department Director Peter Ambenje.

The situation however, seems to have caught county authorities ‘unawares’.

As the rains pummelled the city, Nairobi’s South C estate and regions along wetlands bore the brunt of the woeful drainage as house were rendered inhabitable by the floods.

The Friday afternoon rain caused kilometres of traffic jams across the city with Public Service Vehicles hiking fares.

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Tree blocking the road at Riverside drive, Nairobi [Courtesy]

This is as the glaring inability of Nairobi County to handle floods continue to raise questions about long-standing corruption in the planning departments.

In 2015, Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero set aside Sh50 million emergency fund for clearing blocked drains to avert flooding.

Then Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru also deployed thousands of National Youth Services graduates to unclog the drains.

Come the Sonko-led administration with the promised to deal with the cynical flooding at the ward level. A promise that is yet to be realised.

Across the country

In Kisumu, the inconvenience from the rains was similar. Motorists witnessed their longest traffic snarl-up ever along the Ahero- Kisumu road.

Nyanza regional traffic commander Andrew Naibei blamed the 7-hour long traffic on overlapping by motorists and heavy rain.

Elsewhere in Tharaka Nithi County, authorities reported that lightning had killed a woman and her two children in Kamujwa village.

The area chief said the woman and her Form Three son and Standard Eight daughter were inside their house when lightning stuck at 8pm on Friday night.

In the North Rift, the rains have threatened this year’s harvest as farmers are yet to till the land in preparation for planting.

However, scores of Kenyans who spoke to Standard Digital, welcomed the rain saying it will contain the drought that has left many staring at hunger.

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