Slum dwellers hard hit as 2,000 left homeless after river bursts banks


Kenya: Provincial Administration has sounded an alert for those living near river banks to move

At least 2,000 people have been displaced after Athi River burst its banks Monday morning with those affected being Kwa Mang’eli and Nzomo slum residents.

Two watchmen were stuck for hours in an enclosed area fenced with a stone wall in Portland Senior Staff area, Mombasa road, as water flooded the enclosure.

Homes and maize crops along the banks of the river were submerged. The floods were caused by rains that pounded parts of Ngong Hills, Kiserian and Ongata Rongai.

The provincial administration is now urging those residing by the river banks to move to other safer places. “The rainy season is here and it has just started. It is wise if all those residing near the river move to safe places,” said area District Commissioner.

The Athi River DC said there were efforts to provide food and other requirements to those affected.  “We are striving to determine the total number of people who are affected in order to determine the kind of humanitarian assistance they can be given,” said Mr Kodeck Makori.

“All these erections on the river course are impeding water which then flow towards homes,” said Makori. He noted that over 4,500 homes were affected and estimated that over 20,000 people were likely to be displaced.


Joyce Ndida, whose house was submerged spoke to The Standard of the agony she endured during the morning incident. “We woke up early in the morning only to find our floors full of water,” she said.

Joyce Achieng said that since the water was rapidly swelling people raised alarm and hurriedly removed children and few household items from the makeshift iron sheet houses. She said they lost many household items including foodstuffs in the menace.

“The water volume started increasing at a very fast rate early morning at around 6am as people fled to avoid the impending danger,” said Jonathan Mutembei, a resident.

John Kioko said the flood water was likely to cause health threats due to possible water