More suffering as floods worsen in Nyanza

A section of flooded street in Narok town after heavy downpour. [Robert Kiplagat/Standard]

One person has died and hundreds of families displaced by flash floods as heavy rains pound parts of the country.

In Narok, a man drowned while attempting to rescue marooned tourists at a hotel in the Masai Mara game reserve after Talek River broke its banks.

The floods marooned some 10 tourist camps within the reserve on Wednesday night, destroying property worth millions of shillings.

John Tome, the entrepreneur of Tipilikwani Leisure camp, said the storm waters submerged over 50-Kilometre area, wreaking havoc.

“We had about 50 clients booked at our facility and when the flood waters entered the tented camps at around 3am we raised alarm and mobilised rescuers. Luckily, we successfully took our clients to safety,” said Mr Tome.

He, however, expressed frustrations as property worth millions of shillings was destroyed and one rescuer died.

“Yesterday one person, who was part of the rescuers, slipped into the deep end of the swollen river and unfortunately died,” said Tome, adding that despite the tourists being rescued they lost their belongings such as mobile phones, shoes, cloths and cameras.

Among the camps and hotels affected were Mara Leisure camp, Base camp, Mara Acacia, Azure Lodge, Olesaiki, River side, Crocodile camp and Mara Eden.

At the same time the Ewaso Nyiro-Naroosura road has been cut off by the flood waters, leaving motorists stranded for several hours. Locals are calling upon the authorities to act before situation gets out of hand.

Elsewhere in Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori counties, hundreds of people have been displaced after several rivers burst their banks, sending water gushing into homes and farms.

Yesterday, River Nyando burst its banks, submerging homes along the river basin, while in Homa Bay more than 100 families, mainly in Ndhiwa Sub-county have been forced residents to seek refuge in schools and churches.

At least 117 families from four villages in South Kanyikela have been displaced by rains, which have pounded the area for the last three days.


The residents were displaced after rivers Kuja and river Oyombe broke their banks. Yesterday, floods had affected families living in Ariri, Kopondo, Riat and Minyere village.


Homa Bay County Commissioner David Kipkemei said his office had received information about floods in the county. “I am waiting for a comprehensive report before giving a detailed statement about the disaster,” Kipkemei said.

In South Kanyikela Location, area chief Moses Ongong’a said some of the affected families had already moved from their homes into neighbouring villages.

“Most of the affected people have relocated to their relatives’ homes to avoid more tragedies,” Ongong’a said.

The administrator added that farmers in the area suffered huge losses after their crops, which were ready for harvesting, were swept away by the floods.

In the same area, transport between Amoyo centre and Rait where Sukari Industry is situated was paralysed after Oyombe bridge collapsed.

River Oyombe became impassable, hindering movement and business activities in the area.

“We can’t access Ndhiwa town, which is the Sub-county headquarters, because of the bad situation at River Oyombe. We call on government authorities to help solve this menace,” said George Otieno, resident.

In Siaya at least 20 families have been displaced by floods in Got Agulu sub-location, Bondo sub-location. The families from Urima and Ulowa villages in West Yimbo ward have been forced to vacate their homes.

Some are now camping in churches and schools after their homes were affected by the raging floods and are appealing for help.

“I have been forced to seek refuge at my brother’s home after my house was flooded, with my food also submerged in the rain waters,” said Wilfred Odongo, a resident of Urima village.

[Report by Robert Kiplagat, James Omoro and Isaiah Gwengi]