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Tourist lodges forced to close as Ewaso Nyiro bursts its banks

By Phares Mutembei | December 13th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Up to 120 tourists were evacuated from several luxury lodges and camps after River Ewaso Nyiro burst its banks.

This followed heavy rains on Tuesday that marooned a number of tourist facilities located near the river.

It took the combined efforts of Kenya Wildlife Service personnel and a team of county rangers to evacuate stranded tourists and hotel staff to safer grounds as the river continued to swell.

Among luxury lodges where normal operations came to a standstill were Ashnil, Elephant Watch, Elephant Bed Room, West Gate, Intrepid, Samburu Lodge and Sasaab lodge.

Isiolo County Tourism Director Julius Cheptai, who coordinated the operation, said evacuated tourists were transferred to the nearby Sarova Shaba and Simba lodges.

Heavy flooding has dealt a severe blow to the tourism sector in the region. Already, some tourist facilities are submerged by the rising waters.

The heavy rains have also rendered some areas impassable after destroying roads and bridges.

Governor Mohamed Kuti has ordered people living near the Ewaso Nyiro to move to higher grounds.

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