State at a loss as floods wash away costly infrastructure

Rongai residents witnessing the bodys of the five victims being recovered at river Kandisi where flash floods swept them on 4th May 2018 in Kajiado county. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]
The ongoing rains have wiped out resources worth billions of shillings.

So grave is the damage that the Government has set aside Sh60 billion to combat floods, enough to build two modern roads such as Thika Super-Highway and another one of the same scale as the new Outering Road in Nairobi.  

This is in addition to another Sh17.5 billion infrastructure kitty that the State Department for Infrastructure has put aside to fix roads that have been destroyed by rains.

Infrastructure Principal Secretary Julius Korir said Sh11 billion will go towards repair of rural roads while Sh4 billion will be spent on fixing urban roads.

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The remainder will be channeled towards roads under the Kenya National Highways Authority.

Mr Korir said the State Department of Infrastructure has however requested the National Treasury for an immediate allocation of Sh2 billion to respond to the emergencies for road repairs and restoration of passage of traffic during the rains.

Rescue efforts going on along the flooded Makutano- Sagana road , Kirinyaga County where four vehicles were swept away by heavy flooding that occurred on Thursday night.
The ongoing rains have wreaked havoc around the country displacing hundreds of people, rendering roads impassable, making schools and hospitals inaccessible, and destroying swathes of farmlands.

Acres of tomatoes have rotten in the farms after roads become impassable.

Counties have also poured billions into floods-mitigating measures, with Makueni saying it needs Sh2 billion. Makueni County which is the fourth highly affected county after Tana River, Garissa and Kitui respectively, has been affected by mudslides, stone slides, sand slides and floods.

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Nairobi, announced that it would set aside Sh194 million to deal with disastrous effects of floods, with a big chunk of it going to an emergency fund. Roads and Infrastructure Executive Mohamed Dagane for Nairobi County Government said Sh32 million will be used to improve the drainage system.

Kaghmuu primary school was destroyed by landslide
Kenya Red Cross Society yesterday appealed for Sh500 million to deliver assistance and settlement, health and nutrition, water and sanitation and food security.

“The numbers that we can report here is 112 people have lost their lives countrywide, acreage of land destroyed is over 21,000 in various parts of the country which had crops. Almost over 20,000 livestock have been washed away. 42 health facilities have also been affected by the floods in various parts of the country,” said Secretary General Abbas Gullet.

And with some roads becoming impassable due to poor drainage, man-hours have been wasted with motorists stuck in traffic.

Government estimate shows traffic jams cost about Sh58.4 million a day in lost productivity. This might have gone up as roads in major cities and towns get congested. Red Cross estimates that over 21,741 acres of farmland was destroyed, leaving thousands of people without a source of livelihood.

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“Food shortage is reported among the displaced population, despite government support to affected households. Livelihood needs are expected to rise due to damages to farmland and livestock losses.”

“The impact of the floods has compounded livelihoods shocks caused by two consecutive years of severe drought and may increase vulnerability in the most affected communities, particularly in Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo and Garissa counties,” said the United Nations in its Flash Update.  

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