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Gachagua blames shoddy work for roads washed away by floods

 DP Rigathi Gachagua. [Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has blamed the destruction of infrastructure across the county by El Nino rains to poor urban planning and rogue contractors.

Gachagua said rogue contractors who use substandard materials, and limited or lack of geotechnical studies were to blame for the destruction or roads and bridges by floods across the country.

Speaking in Kwale during the 17th Annual Kenya Institute of Planners Conference, on Tuesday, the DP said at least 87 houses tumbled down between 2009 and 2019, killing 200 people and leaving 1000 injured.

“While such unfortunate incidences have been linked to rogue contractors, substandard materials, limited or no geotechnical studies, greed, among other factors, the ingredient of proper planning for a safe, secure, and sustainable built environment cannot be gainsaid,” he said

"This adds to the challenges of collapsing buildings across the country. Between 2009 and 2019, at least 87 buildings tumbled down, leaving 200 people dead and over 1,000 injured," he added.

“The country lost over Sh2.4 billion in such losses. Last year alone, 13 houses collapsed in the Nairobi metropolitan region," said Gachagua.

He said that ongoing El Nino rains have caused havoc across the country, leaving buildings marooned, roads damaged and lives lost.

Gachagua called on Kenyans to be responsible and exercise caution during the ongoing rains that have killed at least 86 people and displaced scores from their homes.

The DP said out of the deaths caused by El Nino rains, 37 people drowned while crossing swollen rivers.

"We appeal to Kenyans to be responsible and exercise caution even as they ask the government to intervene. At least 37 deaths from El Nino were as a result of drowning and daring nature. There are people crossing rivers when they can see the waters are menacing and rough,” said Gachagua.

He said the government has disbursed Sh7 billion from the contingency fund to mitigate the effects of floods, and supply food, health products, mosquito nets, and water to the affected families.

The DP assured that the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) will provide air support in supplying food and other necessities while the Ministry of Transport will open up roads and restore damaged bridges.

He asked county governments to unblock drainage systems to ensure the free flow of flood waters.

At the same time, Gachagua said the Kenya Kwanza administration is committed to implementing the affordable housing agenda by constructing 250,000 units annually, despite the legal hurdles posed by some litigants challenging the plan

He revealed that the government is expanding the National Land Information and Management System (NLIMS) to facilitate integrated online application and Planning and Development at the Counties.

Gachagua was accompanied by Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani, Principal Secretary State Department for Lands and Physical Planning Nixon Korir, National Lands Commission Chairperson Gershon Otachi, Kenya Institute of Planners president Fawcett Komollo, representative of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Carla Mucavi among others.

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