After drought, floods ravage many regions
Heavy rains in several parts of the country have led to an increase in water levels of rivers, flooding and displacement of people.
Authorities are on high alert in flood-prone regions of Western Kenya, with the government setting up evacuation centres in Nyando, Kisumu County.
Floods have displaced at least 821 households and killed more than 10,000 goats and sheep in Marsabit County.
City residents woke up to scenes of flooded estates following the overnight rain.
Some residential estates were cut off for the better part of the morning. Faced with the hard decision of waiting, some Nairobians waded through the water.
The Imaara Mall on the junction of Mombasa Road and Imara Daima Estate bore the brunt of the water.
Motorists and pedestrians scrambled for space from the moment they left Mombasa Road to enter the estate.
Pedestrians complained of being splashed with water by some motorists.
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About 500 metres ahead, groups of young men helped pedestrians cross the road. They also unclogged drainages.
Because motorists were slowing down, there were traffic jams, compounding the problem.
Earlier in the morning, Dennis, a motorbike rider, complained that the road had become impassable.
The raging water had submerged the road to the estate from Mombasa Road.
“These roads floods even with light rains,” he said.
Videos shared on social media showed some areas in Zimmerman, Imara Maziwa and other estates submerged.
A section of Kiganjo Avenue in South C was covered in water.
Some places in the populous Pipeline estate were an eyesore.
Roads were muddy, affecting many businesses.
According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, the expected March, April and May rains are likely to be depressed.
The rains will be characterised by a late onset and poor distribution.
The government set up an evacuation centre at Ombaka Primary School in Nyando, Kisumu County, for families affected by the floods.
Kakola Chief, Jacob Ong’udi, said the centre can accommodate up to 200 people.
In the past, Nyando families affected by floods sought refuge in classrooms, disrupting learning.
“Some families resist when advised to move to safer grounds. They need to know it is for their own good,” Mr Ong’udi told the Sunday Nation.
Families in Budalang’i, Busia County, and those in neighbouring Siaya County face a similar dilemma as water levels in rivers continue to rise.
“The level of water in River Nzoia is slowly rising and we must be careful,” Mr Jeremiah Owino, a resident of Ruambwa, said.
Areas in Marsabit hit by floods include Dambala Fachana, Walda, Bori, Godhoma, Sololo, Kinisa, Nana, Odda, Dabel, Balesa, Bubisa, Turbi. Kalacha, Hurri, Burgabo, Forolle and El Gadhe have been cut off from Marsabit town.
-Additional reporting by Jacob Walter Sharon Atieno and Kassim Adinasi