What you need to know:
- A bridge at Kotulo connecting Mandera and Wajir has also been washed away.
- It has become difficult to deliver assorted food items in some parts of this region since they are submerged.
Floods have claimed the lives of over 14 people and 30,000 animals in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera counties. The raging waters have also cut off sections of the roads leaving an unknown number of travelers stranded for the second day.
Garissa County, North Eastern Regional Commissioner John Otieno said most of the deaths occurred in Mandera.
“The ongoing rains have really caused a lot of damage in terms of property and loss of lives. In the entire region 14 people have lost their lives through drowning,” said Mr Otieno.
According to him, some areas in the normally arid region have been rendered inaccessible by road.
“It has become difficult to deliver assorted food items in some parts of this region since they are submerged,” he said.
Elwak in Mandera, Buna and Diif in Wajir and Ifo refugee camp in Lagdera in Garissa County are some of the areas submerged.
A bridge at Kotulo connecting Mandera and Wajir has also been washed away.
The same bridge was built by the national government in 2021 following heavy flooding in the region.
“These areas are totally affected and the government together with development partners are taking measures to ensure that relief aid gets to the affected people,” said Mr Otieno.
The multimillion-shillings Garissa-Modogashe road has been rendered impassable after it was cut off in four sections by the raging water.
The road has been affected at Jirango, Afueni, Maalamin and Darsalam by floods.
The flooded Maalamin area has since left passengers heading to Wajir stranded for the second day after the section was washed away.
Mr Otieno called on motorists using the road to look for alternative route.
“Motorists have to avoid this road and I am encouraging members of the public to avoid crossing rivers and flooded sections of the roads,” he said.
Passengers headed to Wajir remain stranded at the Afueni area after the road section at Maalamin town was washed away.
“We arrived here at about 5am on Wednesday but due to floods we could not dare cross to the other side of the town. I just do not know the extent of damage on the road,” Mr Mwendwa Muthengi, a bus driver said.
He said most buses heading to Wajir from Nairobi travel at night and on arriving at Shimbir, it started raining only for most road sections to be flooded.
“Some passengers have been helping by crossing flooded areas to test the water depth and strength before we drive through but at this point things are thick,” Mr Muthengi said.
At least three buses and several lorries transporting goods to Wajir are stranded in the Afueni area.
According to Mr Muthengi, the road at Maalamin had a section washed away earlier and they feared the remaining part had been affected as well.
“We have been using a lane of the road at this section and with the current situation we fear the remaining part has been washed away too. I will wait for the situation to calm then find a way to drive through,” he said.
He said the situation has been worsened by the damaging to a bridge at Jilago along the same road.
“Even if we cross through here, how shall we pass through Jilago whose bridge has been washed away?” he posed.
He said it is impossible to get assistance from Wajir since the untarmacked road is now muddy.
“We were expecting our Wajir office to send a bus to come pick these passengers but we are told the road is so muddy that no vehicle can drive through,” said Mr Muthengi.
Most of the passengers stranded are women and children who were heading to Wajir after schools closed.
Ms Nuria Ali travelling with her four children is among those affected.
“I have children with no food for them since yesterday (Wednesday) morning. The cold and mosquitoes have not spared us,” she said.
Mr Mohamed Siraj, a lorry driver said he was fearing that his goods would go bad before they got to Wajir.
“I am transporting fruits and vegetables that are perishable. I doubt the same will get to Wajir. This road needs to be fixed,” he said.
Mr Abdirashid Aden, called on the government to rein in unqualified contractors working on road networks across the country.