Heavy traffic in Mai Mahiu after floodwaters sweep through town

Members of the public join police officers in searching for survivors after a dam in Old Kijabe burst sweeping away tens of people and houses in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has advised motorists to use alternative routes after nighttime flash floods render sections of roads at Mai Mahiu impassable.

An approximate seven hundred meters between Mai Mahiu and Naivasha, and another one kilometre from Mai Mahiu heading to Narok and Suswa are the most affected.

“These areas are heavily affected, with road blockages reported. Currently, traffic is at a standstill around Mai Mahiu Centre,” reads the KeNHA advisory.

The authority says that it is in the process of clearing the road to reduce the ensuing traffic snarl while also assessing the overall damages caused.

A dam in Old Kijabe is reported to have broken its banks and released its waters downstream, sweeping through villages along its course.

According to KeNHA, the heavy rains that pounded the area last night overwhelmed nearby catchment areas including in Kijabe and Kinale.

At least ten bodies have been recovered.

The Kenya Police, Nakuru County disaster team, Kenya Red Cross and locals are continuing with the search and rescue efforts.

“A number of people are receiving treatment at a health facility in Mai Mahiu town. Most of the victims are from Kamuchiri village and passengers who were on board vehicles that were caught in the floods,” said Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner, Mutua Kisilu, while confirming the 3 AM incident.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Red Cross says that two bodies have been retrieved while six people are still missing following a boat accident in the Kona Punda area along the Garissa – Madogo road. Twenty people were rescued from the accident while the search for the other passengers continues today.