Destruction, injuries as heavy rains pound

A man wades through a flooded section of Syokimau Phase 2 estate. [John Muia, Standard]

Heavy rains pounded the country at the weekend, leaving a trail of destruction and hospitalisation in many parts following raging floods and landslide cases.

In Elite Court along Ole Dume Road, in Nairobi’s Kilimani, residents were evacuated on Sunday morning after being marooned by the floods inside their houses.

According to residents, the construction of a building in the neighbourhood restricted the flow of Kirichwa Kubwa River, resulting in flooding in the homes.

Kartasi Products Limited on Enterprise Road in Nairobi was hit by floods for the fourth time this year, causing damage and loss of property.

The management attributed the recurrent flooding to encroachment on the Ngong River. Some of those living close to the river in Mukuru Kayaba, Lunga Lunga and Soweto informal settlements, had their houses destroyed as the river burst its banks.

Nairobi County Chief Officer for Works Geoffrey Tirop acknowledged encroachment as the primary challenge leading to flooding.

“The main challenge is encroachment. If you go along the river banks, you will see actually heavy encroachment on the riparian,” Engineer Tirop explained.

The flooding in the city may get worse, according to the Kenya Meteorological Department, which has predicted enhanced rainfalls in the months of April and May.

In an interview with The Standard, the department’s director David Gikungu, said the rains were a manifestation of the coming three months.

“We are expecting a normal season with a possibility of enhanced rainfall up to May,” said the weatherman.

Meanwhile, Machakos governor Wavinya Ndeti has called for emergency disaster response backup after floods displaced families in Syokimau and Kinanie.

In Syokimau Phase 2 estate, county emergency operation teams rescued families whose houses were flooded following a heavy downpour on Saturday night.

More than 200 units on the ground floor were flooded.

Wavinya, who dispatched her Roads, Public Works and Housing minister Rita Ndunge, said the county government will provide food, bedding and other basic commodities to the affected families camping at Kinanie Primary School.

Dozens of residents in parts of Kinanie and Syokimau 360 estates had their household items swept away by the floods.

Elsewhere, four people are admitted to Kapenguria Referral Hospital nursing injuries following a landslide incident at Kopro location as heavy rains continue to pound West Pokot County.

It is also feared that several livestock were trapped and property damaged as heavy rains wreaked havoc in the region.

In the Saturday 2pm incident, a heavy downpour saturated the loose soils causing the landslide.

West Pokot County Kenya Red Cross co-ordinator Scholasticah Kapello termed the situation severe.

The injured included two men and two women, with numerous livestock buried under the deluge.

“One of the women remains in a coma at Kapenguria Referral Hospital,” Kapello said.

 [Emmanuel Kipchumba, James Wanzala, Erastus Mulwa and Irissheel Shanzu]