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Nairobi flooded from heavy downpour as business comes to a standstill

By Josphat Thiong’o | Published Thu, March 15th 2018 at 13:04, Updated March 15th 2018 at 13:26 GMT +3
Kenya Water Institute flooded

Heavy downpour in Nairobi on Thursday morning exposed the ill-preparedness of the County in dealing with the flash floods owing to blocked drainages leading to flooding in major parts of the City.

The rains also led to traffic snarl ups on major feeder roads into the city centre as pedestrians had to bear with the floods that seemingly turned the City into a river.

Kipande road, Limuru road, Kenyatta Avenue, Brookside drive, Mombasa road, and Racecourse road near Nairobi River, Ngong road, Globe round-about, Uhuru Highway, Ralph Bunche road and even sections of Thika road were not spared by the rains as floods took over .

On Ojijo road, vehicles were almost submerged in the flood waters from the rains that started as early as 6.30am.

Other hotspot areas included Moi Avenue, Tom Mboya, Racecourse Road, Ronald Ngala Street, Haile Selassie Avenue, Temple Road, and Kimathi Street among others.

Aerial view of flooded Nairobi CBD

Commuters who were headed for work had to wade through the murky waters in the City with some having to cancel planned meetings after a thorough ‘beating’ by the rains. Woe unto those who forgot their umbrellas because they only had wet clothes and shoes to show for it.

Scores were also seen trying to shield themselves from the rains at shoe shine structures, bus sheds, make shift structures as well as on building pavements.

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Consequently, City residents expressed their frustrations at the County administration for what they termed as inadequate planning for the rains saying if lives were lost, ‘it was on them’.

“Year in year out, we complain of flooding whenever there is down pour and this time it’s not any different. The rains were forecasted weeks ago but it seems not enough has been done to avoid flooding,” lamented Cynthia Sikebu, a South C native.

They also took to social media where they posted photos and videos of the heavy down pour and flooding, laying out bare the perennial problem that has continued to rock the East African Capital.

The rains that a synonymous with traffic jams also got on the nerves of pedestrians who were not only trying to deal with the pools of water but also avoid being drenched by water splashed from moving vehicles.

“You can barely cross from one street to the other without your shoe being converted into a water holder because of the floods,” said Maurice Kibet.

As is the tradition, the entrepreneurial spirit of Kenyans also came out in full display as cart wheelers made good coin from assisting people in crossing the flooded roads.

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