Raging floods leave trail havoc in Kisumu

Part of the collapsed Wath Orego bridge connecting Mamboleo and Miwani in Kisumu County. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Residents of Wathorego in Kisumu East are counting losses after floods swept away crops and animals following a heavy downpour/

At least seven goats and two cows were swept away by the floods after river Awach broke its banks sweeping into the nearby villages.

The only bridge connecting Kajulu East and Kajulu West was partially washed, paralysing transport and cutting off residents of Kajulu West from Kisumu town.

It has been a business boom for bodaboda operators in the area, as vehicles drop passengers and goods on one side of the bridge, with the bodaboda operators helping them complete the journey.

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Ester Adoyo lost her five goats on Friday evening following the floods, leaving her with two kids.

“We had tethered the goats near the river bank when I heard people shouting. When I rushed to check what was happening, I watched helplessly as the water swept the goats away as it moved into the nearby farms,” she said.

Her one-acre maize and beans farm was also destroyed, with the 60-year-old saying she will not be able to replant as the water washed away all the top soil.

Alekia Mona said he also lost crops on his three-quarter acre parcel following the floods, but he was monitoring the rains before making a decision to replant.

“The worst bit is that this flood is unpredictable because it result from the rains in the upstream. It has been raining for the past one month and there has been no overflow until Friday last week,” he said.

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Phillip Onyango, a bodaboda rider at Guba said he has been running on losses as no vehicles can access the centre any more.

Onyango said he has been making at least Sh1, 200 every day, but since Friday the income has reduced to Sh300, a situation which has made it difficult for him to operate.

“Guba is one of the main bus stops in this route, but since vehicles can no longer pass the bridge, no passengers are dropped here, and when we cross the other side, the bodaboda operators from the other side do not allow us to pick people from there,” said Onyango.

Businesses at Guba and other centres within Kajulu East have also been affected due to the broken bridge, as they have to spend more to get their goods to the shops, but have to contend with reduced clients.

“We get most of our supplies from Kisumu town, and when the bridge is disconnected we have to use extra manpower to use bodaboda guys to get the supplies past the bridge, but even with this it is dangerous because the bridge is almost collapsing,” said Samson Ouma, a shopkeeper at Guba.

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