River Nyando breaks its banks escalating Kisumu flooding

Ahero Bridge connecting Kisumu to Nairobi, Kisii and Homa Bay submerged after River Nyando broke its banks. [Mike Kihaki, Standard]

The situation along the shores of River Nyando, Kisumu County has escalated into a major concern, as heavy rains continue to wreak havoc in several parts of the country.

For the better part of Sunday morning, motorists and travellers plying the Kisumu-Nairobi/Kisii/Homabay route were stranded, after River Nyando burst its banks and overflowed Ahero bridge.

The situation has rendered the road impassable, with residents opting to wade in the raging waters to access the opposite side.

As a result, the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) has urged members of the public to exercise caution when using the Ahero Kisumu road.

“The Kenya National Highways Authority wishes to alert the public to exercise caution as they approach the River Nyando along the Ahero-Kisumu A1 Road. Which has burst its banks and overtopped River Nyando Bridge,” Director-General Kung’u Ndung’u announced.

Videos circulating on social media show that areas such as Kamidumbi, Panadol, and Magina have been submerged by the waters.

Ahero Town, Ahero sub-county hospital, Ahero Girls High School, Lela Girls Secondary School and Oseth Primary School are some of the affected institutions and facilities.

Learning institutions were inaccessible after River Nyando broke its bans. [Mike Kihaki, Standard]

Other learning institutions which have been rendered inaccessible include St. Annes Primary, K’obura Primary and Secondary, Lela Primary and Secondary, Korowe Primary, Karanda Primary and Secondary, Obiayo Primary, K’owuor Primary and Secondary, Apondo Primary and Secondary.

Essential hubs like Ahero market have not been spared as most businesses have been submerged underwater.

Local traders are lamenting over the losses incurred after their stock and livelihood were swept away by raging floods.

"I bought my stock last evening only to wake up and find that the shop is marooned by water, and the stock soaked in water," a shopkeeper in Ahero said.

Ahero town flooded as River Nyando broke its banks. [Mike Kihaki, Standard]

According to the Kisumu County Government, flooding worsened after River Nyando broke its banks Saturday evening, affecting Ahero, Muhoroni and parts of Nyakach.

“The Flood crisis in Kisumu County has worsened after River Nyando burst its banks causing extensive damage to homes, urban centres, public institutions and infrastructure. The situation has been worsened by the increasing backflow from Lake Victoria,” Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o says.

Nyong’o says more than 600 people have been trapped in their homes, business premises, health facilities and on the roads.

“The whole of Ahero Town is flooded. Several Health facilities including the Ahero Sub-County Hospital have been flooded with wards and offices adversely affected. Seven villages in Ombeyi location are completely submerged in water,”.

“The bridge on Homa lime bridge in Muhoroni Sub-County has collapsed. Muhoroni Town is flooded. Many parts of Muhoroni and Nyakach are cut off from the rest of the county due to the floods.

As a result, Kisumu County has called on the national government to help evacuate trapped Kenyans in areas such as Kabonyo, Kanyagwal, Ombaka and Sango Rota which became seriously affected after roads became impassable.

“We are making arrangements to hire boats to help in the ferry affected households to evacuation centres. We have appealed to the state departments with helicopters including the KDF, Kenya Wildlife Services, and Kenya Forest Service to intervene and help us rescue the affected people. A medical Camp has been conducted at Bunde Dispensary and more are being planned,”.

The affected area is part of the Kano plains, where floods have been a major concern during heavy rain seasons for decades.