Inside measures to rescue Kenyans affected by floods

A multi-agency team of officials from Water Resource Authority, National Police Service (NPS) Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Nairobi City County Government and National Youth Service during the exercise to evict dwellers on riparian land in Shimo la Tawe, South B Nairobi. [Courtesy]

People who have been rendered homeless by floods occasioned by heavy rains across the country will now have refuge in temporary camps set up by the government.

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Interior announced that it has set up 115 temporary camps to host families of internally displaced people.

The affected counties include the counties mapped to benefit include Busia, Homabay, Kisumu, Machakos, Nairobi, Nakuru, and Murang'a.

Others in dire need of food, medical kits, and non-food items include Garissa, Kiambu, Migori, Narok, Kajiado, West Pokot, Nyeri, Siaya, Nyandarua, Kirinyaga and Tana River.
So far the state reports that 210 people have lost their lives and 196,296 others affected by the floods.

"A cumulative 125 people have been reported injured while 90 people are currently missing," the update reads adding that 33, 000 households have been adversely impacted by the floods. According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, the heavy downpour is expected to continue into June in 23 counties.

To curb more disasters, those living in flood-prone areas have been urged to move away from waterways.

On Thursday ordered vacation and evacuation of people living in high flood risk areas.

"It is hereby ordered that all members of the public residing within high-risk fragile ecosystem areas vacate the said areas immediately," said Interior CS Kithure Kindiki.

He added, "All persons residing within the 30-meter riparian corridor of rivers and other
water courses across the country have been ordered to vacate immediately,"

The state also mentioned counties of Nandi, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Murang’a, Nyeri, Machakos and Makueni among those in their radar as susceptible to landslides with the respective counties' security committees directed to monitor the situation.

In Naivasha, some flower farms have been asked to manage waters in their dams to avert disaster amid the heavy downpours in the country.

According to the Water Resources Authority (WRA), excess water from some dams in the area has been spilling to the nearby settlements.

The Authority led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Shurie, conducted inspections on some flower farms to assess the situation of their dams and lagoons.

Residential houses in Kware area in Embakasi South are filled by floodwaters. [Robert Tomno, Standard]

Among the dams inspected by the authority on April 1, 2024, were Subati Flowers in Naivasha Sub-county, Karati Dam, Kahuruko Pan, Elishan Farm, Cedar Farm and Karai Village.

This was after area residents complained of their drinking water having mixed up with water from their septic tanks.

“The Authority urges all dam owners to comply with the regulations to protect loss of lives, and properties and preserve the socioeconomic status of their environments,” the authority stated.

Adding that, “The flooding has brought about serious ravaging effects leading to loss of lives and livelihoods.”

During the visit, Shurie held meetings with residents and implored on them to take precautionary measures when dealing with water.

He pleaded with the angry residents not to take water issues lightly and to move away from flooded places until the waters subside. 

Residents residing around Lake Naivasha were also urged to be vigilant as the large volumes of water moving eventually ended up in the Lake, causing it to fill up some more. 

To meet the set regulations, dam owners are required to hold valid water storage and use permits and conduct periodic inspections, through the relevant category of qualified water professionals.

They are also required to familiarize themselves with the risk factors of storage dams prescribed under the Water Resources Regulations.