Floods in Kisumu and Nairobi, Kenya

The Kenyan county of Kisumu, on the banks of Lake Victoria, suffered flooding following heavy rains last week.

It was reported on Wednesday 26 March 2014 that more than 60 homesteads and several schools had been affected, with families living along the Auji and Myamasaria rivers being left homeless after the rivers burst their banks and five houses collapsed on Monday night.

Nyalenda A Ward Representative Jacktone Onunga was reported as complaining that contractors building a road in the Nyamasaria area had diverted the River Auji into the Ouru and Nyamasaria rivers, causing them to burst their banks. He urged the Kenya Highway Roads Authority to ensure that the contractors unblock the outlets to the Auji.

The rains have also flooded classrooms and access roads to many schools, forcing students to return home. The hardest hit schools include Senior Chief Onunga School for the Deaf, St Marks Nyabera Primary School and Kasagam Secondary School.

Onunga urged the government to find a permanent solution to the recurring problem of flooding in the areas. “The government usually provide relief food instead of a lasting solution. We don’t want such food but solution,” he said.

County Executive for Environment, Rhoda Ahonobadha said plans for de-silting of major rivers and streams in the area are under way. She said the relevant Environment Bill would soon be tabled in the County Assembly to spearhead the flood mitigation process. Rivers to be de-silted include the Auji, Wigwa, Awach, Rae and Nyando.

The County government was, in the interim, assessing how it could best assist the affected families, she said.

Meanwhile, one person has been confirmed dead and one is still missing in and around Ruai on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, following flash floods that occurred in the area caused by heavy rains between 7pm and midnight on Tuesday 26 March 2014. Several homes had their roofs blown off during the storm. Four people, including two children, were rescued by the Red Cross.

“By 10pm we had managed to rescue four people who were about to be submerged in the water but since the rains were really heavy resulting in difficulties in accessibility, we called off the rescue operation,” said Red Cross officer in charge of the rescue operations Nicolas Thuo.

Thuo said the Red Cross team had recommenced rescue operations the next morning with the support of the Nairobi Fire Brigade after villagers spotted a floating body in the Kingori’s area.

Kamulu, Manyata, Kingori’s and Joska were the areas most affected by the floods, he said, with many roads being left impassable and crops and homes submerged in flood-water.

Source: The Star Kenya; and also here