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147 houses found risky after heavy rain

By Boniface Gikandi | Published Tue, June 12th 2018 at 08:18, Updated June 12th 2018 at 08:25 GMT +3
Deep cracks in the house of Mzee John Kihia who has relocated his family to a safer area. [Boniface Gikandi]

In summary

  • Families affected by mudslides appeal for assistance from Government
  • Red Cross says some of the buildings need to be rehabilitated

At least 140 houses in Murang’a have been condemned after they were affected by heavy rains.

The condemned houses are in Kangema, Mathioya and Kiharu constituencies, where majority were found unfit for occupation owing to unstable ground.

A report by Kenya Red Cross (KRC) Mt Kenya regional coordinator Gitonga Mugambi indicated that another 50 houses that were marooned after rivers Maragua and Mathioya burst their banks in lower Kiharu need to be rehabilitated before they are occupied.

In total, Mr Mugambi said, 548 houses were damaged in the county, out of which the 147 are condemned following reports by geologists.

He said the houses developed cracks and part of them sank in the three constituencies.

Appeal for help

“We are presently quantifying the damage as acres of tea and coffee bushes were swept away by mudslide,” said Mugambi, adding that 968 people were displaced and are currently living with relatives and friends.

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He said roads network in lower Kiharu, especially Mukuyu-Gwa Thamaki road, was among those damaged by floods.

“We have forwarded the report on destruction of homesteads to various well-wishers to support the affected families,” he said.

Last week, families affected by mudslide appealed for assistance from the Government to enable them resume their normal lives.

John Kihia, a victim, recounted how his poultry farm, among his other income-generating ventures, were destroyed following downpour in Gitugu sub-location in Kangema.

Mr Kihia, a resident of Kiangotho village, said most mudslide victims were being hosted by neighbours and relatives.

“My three acres of land is completely damaged with deep cracks and shallow wells all over,” said Kihia.

In the past three weeks, the Government and KRC have been distributing relief food to the affected families in Mathioya and Kangema constituencies.

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