Sh1.8 billion needed to save Kibera, Mathare, Mukuru slums from effects of flooding

Mukuru Kayaba. About 200,000 people living near rivers in Nairobi are in danger of suffering the severe effects of flooding. [File, Standard]
The Government needs Sh1.8 billion to move about 200,000 people living along rivers in the slums of Kibera, Mathare, and Mukuru to save them from effects of flooding.

Research by the University of Nairobi’s African Collaborative Centre for Earth Sciences has recommended that the people be moved 30 metres away from the riparian buffer zone.

“This will help save the lives of thousands of people living close to rivers in informal settlements as they are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” said Eric Odada, the lead researcher.

With the onset of the rains, the meteorological department has warned that is risk of flooding not only in Nairobi, but also across the country.

National census

Prof Odada said the amount of money required and the correct population figures might be more because the figures were based on the 2009 national census.

“This study found that there is very high population density along the stretches of rivers Mathare, Ngong, and Nairobi, which run through the three slums. This is the main reason flood impacts are severe in the slums,” Odada said.

The survey shows that the intensity and frequency of extreme weather will amplify in the era of climate change and increase the destructive impacts of climatic shocks in the slums.

Four stations

“Significant extreme weather events of rainfall have been found in the four stations (Wilson Airport, Kabete, Dagoretti, and Eastleigh) that best capture the rainfall situation within the three slums. Flooding is expected by residents whether during long or short rains,” Odada said.

The survey also shows that Kibera is more at risk to be affected by flooding than Mathare and Mukuru.

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