Agony as Meru families displaced by heavy rains

A motorcyclist attempts to cross a swollen river. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • A spot check by the Nation established that several bridges have been destroyed in Imenti Central as rivers swelled.

Nine families have been displaced in Nkubu and several roads cut off in various parts of Meru County following heavy rains that are pounding the area.

According to Kenya Red Cross regional manager Gitonga Mugambi, about 35 homes flooded in Thagara, Jerusalem, Kiigene and Muguru villages in Imenti South after a nearby stream burst its banks on Friday.

“Nine of the 35 families were displaced due to the floods. Kenyans should be on the high alert because the weather forecast indicates the heavy rains will continue,” Mr Mugambi said.

A spot check by the Nation established that several bridges have been destroyed in Imenti Central as rivers swelled.

Kionyo-Chogoria road in South Imenti was also cut off on Friday after flood waters partially destroyed a bridge along Iraru River.

Abothuguchi West MCA Patrick Muthuri said about seven roads have been cut off in his Ward, threatening major economic activities in the area.

He said one of the roads linking Kathiranga and Kiruanyi villages has been cut off by a landslide following heavy rains on Friday night.

“About seven bridges have been swept away while others are hanging precariously posing a risk to road users. In some areas, dairy and tea farmers have been cut off from their buying centres. If the heavy rains continue, we are likely to lose more roads,” Mr Muthuri said.

Mr Muthuri called on the County Government to allocate emergency funds for road repair once the rains subside.

Peter Koome, a resident of Marathi village in Imenti Central, said several dairy farmers cannot deliver their milk to the local plant after a bridge on Mariara River was swept away.

At Muri village, tea farmers were still using a damaged bridge that was suspended precariously to access Kamwonyone tea buying centre.

“We urge people to exercise caution when using the bridges because the rivers are swollen. I also call on the county government public works department to assess the damage on time so that resources are allocated for repairs,” the MCA said.


In Kirinyaga County, a secondary school student drowned Sunday as he swam in the swollen Thiba River.

The Form One student, identified as James Wanjohi, dived into the river at Kombuini village and started swimming when he was hit by strong water currents and swept downstream.

However his three colleagues escaped death narrowly to tell the shocking story. Following the incident, villagers combed the river banks in search of the learner but gave up when they failed to trace him.

"We have looked for the boy everywhere but we couldn't get him," one of the villagers, John Kamau, said.

And in a separate incident, 200 families of Karumandi village in Gichugu Constituency were cut off from the rest of the world after a bridge they use to cross Kiringa River was swept away by floods following heavy rains that pounded the area.

Area nominated MCA Caroline Muriithi noted that they could not even go to nearby markets to buy food and appealed to the government to assist them.

"The government should should step in fast and replace the bridge before the families starve to death," she said.

Another MCA, Antony Munene, observed that the situation was serious adding something urgent should be done to save the lives of the victims.

"The families woke up in the morning only to find that the bridge had been destroyed and carried away by floods," he said.


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