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Floods wreak havoc in coastal region, destroy roads and bridges

Devastating floods wreak havoc in the coastal region, submerging roads and bridges. [Marion Kithi, Standard]

Heavy rains have caused floods and damage in several parts of the coastal region, affecting roads, bridges, farms and homes.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has issued a public notice advising motorists and pedestrians to avoid some sections of the roads that have been submerged or eroded by the floods.

One of the affected areas is the Tana River Bridge, where the river has burst its banks between Madogo Total Station, Mororo, and the bridge.

The road section between Madogo Town and the bridge is flooded and rapidly eroding, posing the danger of washouts.

KeNHA said its team is on the ground monitoring the situation and will update on the progress.

It also warned the residents to avoid idling near the flooding waters, as there are risks of stray crocodile attacks.

Another area that has been hit hard by the floods is the Mbogolo Bridge along the Mombasa-Malindi Highway in Kilifi County.

 The bridge was swept away by the gushing waters on Saturday morning, cutting off the road completely.

 The approach road on the Mombasa side was also destroyed by the floods. A section of the highway at Mtondia, a few kilometres from Kilifi Town, was also submerged in water and rendered impassable.

The Kilifi North Police Boss, Kenneth Maina, said the Chinese contractor who is repairing the highway is trying to salvage the situation.

 He said the traffic has been temporarily diverted to alternative routes. He also said that travellers are being dropped near the bridge and walking on foot through another bridge that is under construction.

“So far so good, we don’t have any casualties, we have been able to manage the situation on the ground,” said Maina.

However, the matatu drivers plying the route said the situation has affected them, as they have to pay for their passengers to board other vehicles to their destination once they get there.

The locals blamed the contractor for blocking the waterways and reducing the river channel, hindering the flow of water.

“The channel is very narrow and as the water is fighting to cross it has eroded all the soil,” said John Karisa, a resident.

Some of the locals have also lost their crops and livestock to the floods. Gladicy Charo had a maize farm adjacent to the bridge, where the Mbogolo River flows.

Heavy rains have continued to wreak havoc in different parts of the country. [Marion Kithi, Standard]

She had been hoping for a bountiful harvest at the end of January, but that dream has been swept away along with the bridge.

Anderson Kaingu, who lives near the bridge, lost all his belongings, two cows and a goat to the floods.

The residents have called on the government to fast-track the completion of the new bridge to smoothen the traffic flow.

President William Ruto on Friday condoled with the families that have lost their loved ones from the ongoing heavy rains as a result of El Nino. He said the government will act to secure Kenyans during the ongoing heavy rains.

“We condole with the families of the victims of the ongoing intense downpour and flooding in some parts of the country,” said Ruto.

“We are pained by the loss of lives in Kwale, Mombasa, Samburu, and, lately, Makueni County, among other places. The government will act to secure Kenyans.”

The Kenyan Meteorological Department has warned that heavy rainfall is expected to continue in most parts of the country.

At least 20 people have been killed across the coastal region, and thousands more could be affected by the devastating floods that follow years of drought.

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