Counties on the edge as floods wreak havoc amid heavy rain

Mbega residents in Nyado walk in groups to help each other walk along the road to their houses as floods marooned homes in Mbega village in Nyando Kisumu. [Michael Mute, Standard]

Several counties are on the edge as floods wreak havoc leading to loss of lives and displacement of people.

This is happening as heavy rains continue to pound parts of the country. In Narok, four family members died following a landslide at Ololulunga after a night of heavy rains while hundreds were displaced in Kisumu and West Pokot counties.

The developments are bound to test the preparedness of counties to handle emergencies after similar floods last year left a trail of destruction and loss of lives. Yesterday, residents of Ololunga village were still struggling to come to terms with loss of members of one family.

Narok South Sub-County Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Felix Kisalu said the mudslide occurred at night following heavy rains experienced in the area. A father, mother, son, and daughter died in the incident.

“There was a mudslide in Torokiat village in Oldonyo Ngiro location at 3am. This follows heavy downpours overnight in Narok South,” said Kisalu.

Kisalu led a team of disaster management to the scene where the bodies were retrieved and moved to Narok County Morgue. He noted that Ewaso Nyiro and Olashapani rivers are flooded hampering transport.

He urged residents of Chepalungu, Torokiat, Pampanik, Oloishusho, and Enakishomi areas to remain vigilant during this rainy season.

The areas near Maasai Mau Forest have prevalent mudslides due to steep terrain and heavy rains. Those living on low steep grounds have been required to move to high grounds.

Panic has also hit homeowners after the Ewaso Ngiro and Entoroboni Rivers broke their banks and flooded the area. Some victims Dr Paul Sena and Kabaka Kikombe said they woke up to a surprise as floods marooned their farms.

“I have never seen such water since I settled here, the river has never broken its banks and we are worried if it continues this way, then we will be misplaced,” said Dr Sena.

In Kisumu, at least 300 families have been displaced in Nyando after floods hit the region. The worst is Kobura ward even as residents of Ombaka region claimed water levels had started rising in several villages.

The residents who are now at risk of contracting waterborne diseases are also faced with acute food shortages after their belongings were swept away.

Collins Obuon, a rice farmer at Kobura, said the heavy downpour that lasted for a few days has also caused huge destruction on their rice farms. “I urge the government to send us tractors to open drainage systems. People are suffering,” he added. 

In West Pokot, heavy rains are causing sleepless nights for families residing in highland regions. The families are living in fear and panic of possible landslides and floods.

Torrential downpours, particularly in Pokot Central and Pokot South sub-counties, have led to flooding and rendered roads and bridges impassable, severely disrupting transportation and causing panic among the locals.

“Our roads and farms have been destroyed by the ongoing heavy rains. We are living in constant fear, recalling the deadly tragedies that have struck our communities in the past,” expressed Mercy Lorekui, a resident.

“Tapach, Nyarkulian, Parua and Muino have been susceptible to mudslides and landslides, causing immense destruction and displacing thousands in the past,” said Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong.

[Reports by Clinton Ambujo, Irrisheel Shanzu, John Tiapukel and Benard Lusigi]

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