President Ruto opts for military aid in Mai Mahiu search and rescue

President William Ruto. [File, Standard]

President William Ruto has ordered military personnel to join hands with police officers, to help in recovery and evacuation efforts.

This comes after a landslide swept through three villages in Mai Mahiu causing deaths and destruction of property. As of Tuesday evening, the death toll was at 48.

While visiting the victims of the incident, President Ruto assured victims of government support saying the state will build homes, provide medical covers and shoulder burial expenses for those who lost their loved ones in the tragedy.

Ruto says the government has done mapping of areas in danger of flooding and landslides saying they will be assisted to evacuate.

“There are so many places in Kenya where such an incident is likely to occur and we will ask Kenyans to evacuate such areas early enough because the weather forecast shows there will be more rain and we don’t want Kenyans’ lives endangered,”.

“As a government, we have done mapping of flood-prone areas, and mudslides. From tomorrow we will ask those living there to leave. We will help them move to save their lives and avoid similar disasters,”

Water washed away several homes in the wee hours of Monday morning prompting emergency responses from the national and county governments who have camped at the premise for the better part of Monday and Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, the cause of the incident was the incident was a result of a blocked railway line tunnel preventing proper flow of water through River Tongi.

"The channel got blocked due to debris, stones, trees and soil brought about by the heavy downpour in the area thereby preventing water flowing through the River Tongi course and its small tributaries from moving downstream," said Njeru.

The river and its tributaries then burst its banks at a high pressure, sweeping the railway line and flowing downstream at a high speed.

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