Jamhuri showers leave 300 Kisumu families homeless

A woman prepares meal at Kakola Ombaka village in Nyando, Kisumu County, in a flooded compound on December 12, 2018 following heavy rains. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

At least 300 families in Nyando were left homeless after five hour downpour on Tuesday night.

Ombaka and Kakola areas were the most affected with residents moving to put up with their relatives living on higher grounds.

Area Chief Jacob Ongudi said he was still working on the final list of those affected even as he urged the residents within the flood prone areas not to wait till it struck.

“We got information by midnight that some people had their houses flooded and we quickly moved in to rescue the few things we could. No life was however lost,” said Ongudi.

When the Standard visited the area yesterday, most parts of the roads were left impassible, with the neighbouring Ombaka Primary and Secondary Schools submerged.

Some residents were moving their domestic animals, while others were evacuating, fearing that any further downpour would render the area inhabitable.

Pamela Anyango, a mother of six had to take her children to the neighbouring homes at night, and remained behind with her husband Joseph Otieno to care for the home.

“The rains started about 7pm, and it was not that much. So we managed to prepare evening meals before we retired to bed, when everything seemed right,” she said.

Otieno said by midnight, he woke up to a flooded house, which prompted him to evacuate the children and the domestic animals.

His compound was yesterday fully sitting in what appeared like a pond, even as he pondered on how to move out his furniture.

“Looking at the skies it appears like it may rain again, and even the areas where we moved our children to may be affected. The government agencies need to move fast and do something,” he said.

Victor Atyang’ who operates a bodaboda business in the area expressed displeasure with the conditions of the roads which had paralysed their business.

Atyang said the paralysis of the trade which has been their source of income would affect them further as they would not be in a position to fend for their families.

“We were in high spirits yesterday, ready to welcome Jamhuri Day, only to be met with all these. Should it rain again, all the roads will be rendered unusable,” he said.

“We are currently mobilizing people to move from the risky areas, even as we try to engage the government agencies to come in and help,” said Charles Asego, Ombaka village elder, adding that there was urgent need for food stuffs, medicine and bedding to help those affected.

Kisumu County Director of Special Programs Ruth Odinga yesterday confirmed that they were already on the ground to assess the situation in order to draw a response plan.

She however said there was immediate response to have water ways opened so as to allow for the flow of water from homes.

“The rains ambushed us, and it is a public holiday so we were not able to do much. But we are doing all that is possible, with the help of Kenya Red Cross to ensure that any humanitarian issue is addressed,” she said.

The area is one of the flood-prone places in Kisumu County where at least 1, 500 families were affected during the last rainy season.

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Kisumu FloodsHeavy DownpourFamilies HomelessThe standard