Flood waters wash away vehicles, leave trail of destruction

A trailer is stuck in River Kawalase after being swept away downstream on May 24, 2018. PHOTO | PETER WARUTUMO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Ms Benson Asha, a trader, said it was impossible to transport her vegetables to Kakuma as the road was impassable.
  • Peter Malala and his wife have been forced to share the same house with their son after their house was destroyed by flash floods.

Three vehicles were swept away by floods near Lodwar town after River Kawalase burst its banks on Wednesday.

The drivers of the vehicles were attempting to cross the river that normally floods during rainy seasons.

The vehicles - a Toyota Land Cruiser, a trailer and a canter - were swept downstream but their occupants were rescued.

“Drivers are the ones to be blamed for the mess. Most of them have totally refused to be patient. They can't wait for the water volumes to reduce, exposing them to danger,” Mr John Epem, a resident, said.

Fresh farm produce traders in Turkana County are the most hit by the ongoing heavy rains in the area.

Ms Benson Asha, a trader, said it was impossible to transport her vegetables to Kakuma as the road was impassable.

Six vehicles have also been swept away by River Malmalite since Sunday on the Kitale-Lodwar road, paralysing transport.

In Kakamega, at least 500 people in Matungu and Mumias West sub-counties have appealed for humanitarian assistance after floods destroyed their houses.

The families are from Mundindi, Bukimo and Musoiro villages in Namamali ward.

From Mundindi village, 67-year-old Peter Malala and his wife have been forced to share the same house with their son who is married after their three bedroomed house was destroyed by flash floods Thursday night.

“It was around 3am when the raging flood waters caused the walls of my house to collapse killing three goats, chicken and destroyed five bags of maize,” Mr Malala said.

The house of Ms Maurine Baraza, a mother of three, was blown off by heavy winds in the 3am downpour that exposed them to the cold night.

“Luckily, no one was injured even though I lost several chicken and two sheep,” Ms Baraza said.

Ms Baraza has called on relevant authorities to compensate her for the loss.

Many other residents have moved out of their flooded houses hoping to return when the waters subside.


Namamali ward office manager Kefas Otsiula said the residents are forced to drink dirty water, despite knowing the risks it can bring after latrines were flooded, and because they have no other option.

“As a ward, our hands are tied and we are not able to assist because the ward has no kitty to manage such,” Mr Otsiula said.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, about 500 households have been affected in the two sub-counties following the continued downpour.

“The families have lost crops, livestock and belongings. Fortunately, we have not lost any life,” Seline Indakwa, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) Mumias coordinator, said.

Ms Indakwa said the families were threatened by food shortage and were facing the risk of deadly diseases from the stagnant flood water that surrounds them.

She said the KRCS will be provide emergency relief to the families, including food, clean drinking water, emergency shelter and clothing.

“With homes destroyed, farmland submerged and water supplies disrupted, those affected by the floods need assistance from all of us,” Ms Indakwa, inviting charity from the public, said.

In Siaya, Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda has raised an alarm over imminent danger at Goye Causeway on the main Bondo-Usenge-Osieko highway after rains chipped away a portion of it.

Mr Ochanda said the causeway on Lake Victoria was slowly subsiding into the waters and was a disaster in waiting if the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) does not move fast to remedy the situation.

“The causeway separates Lake Usare from Lake Victoria. It’s currently subsiding into the waters and could cut-off the Usenge-Osieko highway,” Mr Ochanda said.

He disclosed that officials from KeNHA visited the area after funds were allocated for its construction but work has not began.

On Thursday, KeNHA Director General Peter Mundinia declined to receive our calls or respond to a short text message.

KeNHA Director of Highway Planning Samuel Oketch did not also divulge information concerning the impending works on the causeway.