State unveils plans to construct dykes in flood-prone region

By Renson Buluma

Plans are underway to have new dykes constructed in Bunyala District to control perennial floods in Budalangi, Busia County.

Special Programmes PS Andrew Mondoh said the move is part of the Government’s long-term strategy to control floods and prevent disaster in Budalangi especially during the rainy seasons.

Mr Mondoh said the dykes to be constructed will be bigger and stronger to offer a permanent solution to floods, which normally occur when River Nzoia bursts its banks during heavy rains.

He said a consultant had already carried out a feasibility study in the area and they were waiting for funds from the Government.

“We hope to commence the construction of the dykes at the beginning of the next financial year (July). This is a multi- million project that will help bring to an end frequent displacement of people residing on the lower part, “said Mondoh.

If constructed the new dykes will replace the old ones constructed in mid 70s which have been susceptible to floods despite the Government’s annual allocation of over Sh38 million for maintenance.

Mondoh, however, noted that the project will not interfere with the Government’s initial plan of constructing a dam along the river.

A number of Budalangi residents welcomed the move to construct new dykes, saying the currents ones are too old and were a burden to the taxpayer.

Rescue centre

The PS made the remarks yesterday during the inspection of the disaster rescue centre at Mundere in Budalangi.

He was accompanied by the World Bank officials led by Dr Nyambura Githakui, Busia County Commissioner Joyce Isiaho, Bunyala DC Ali Khalif Abdi and several officials from the ministry.

Ms Isiaho said the district had a lot of agricultural potential capable of uplifting the livelihoods of the locals, but this was being hampered by floods.