The number of households affected by the current raging floods in Kisumu has now hit 725 as rains continue to pound most parts of the county.
The most affected areas are Kolwa Central, Kolwa East and Kajulu wards in Kisumu East. Others are Nyalenda B in Kisumu Central, Ombeyi ward in Muhoroni sub county, South West and Central Kisumu wards in Kisumu West and parts of the newly gazetted Kadibo sub county.
Medical personnel have been deployed to various evacuation centres to mitigate both cholera and bilharzia, as well as other diseases that may emerge as a result of the floods.
The number which rose from 600 on Monday continues to increase as the meteorological department reported that heavy rains which are being experienced in Rift Valley and Nairobi will continue in the North Western Region and the Lake basin.
According to Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, the current heavy rains pounding Kisumu and many other parts of the country have led to flooding in some of the flood hot spots in the county, causing displacements and damage to property and economic lifelines.
“The number of affected households now rendered vulnerable stands at 725 and we expect the number to rise if the rains continue,” said Prof Nyong’o.
In Nyalenda B, 90 households have been affected, with 46 families displaced from their homes. They have, however, been integrated within the community.
In Muhoroni sub county, 10 houses were destroyed, with a total of 100 households affected in Ombeyi Ward while in Kisumu West, 30 houses were destroyed and a total of 150 households affected in South West and Central Kisumu wards.
“We are not out of the woods yet as heavy rains are expected to continue into the month of May and probably beyond. My government has invested in one weather station at East Kano Wawidhi and other early warning gadgets that inform the rising level of water in rivers Nyando and Miriu,” said the governor.
The Meteorological department has also increased the number of weather stations in the county from two to seven. These stations have contributed to better and more accurate weather updates despite the uncertain weather patterns caused by climate change.
“In anticipation of an aggravated situation, we have mapped out and activated all our designated and gazetted evacuation centres in the affected areas. We have also trained locals as champions in data collection, rescue and evacuation of displaced persons,” said Prof Nyong’o.
The evacuation centres are Ombaka, Obiayo, Kangonda and Kanyango, as well as some churches.
Some of the mitigating measures the county government has put in place are opening waterways and desilting of rivers in flood hotspots before the onset of the rains, a move that has contributed to the depressed numbers that were reported compared to the previous years.
He was speaking at his Kisumu City hall offices where he flagged off food and non-food items worth Sh5 million to be distributed in the affected areas to support a total of 1,200 households for about two weeks.
These include food items such as maize flour, wheat flour, cooking oil, baby porridge, rice, milk, maize and beans.
The non-food items include blankets, bar soap, children’s gum boots — to prevent exposing the young to infections such as bilharzia, solar lamps and sanitary towels.
As a response to the current floods, the county government has activated continuous assessment by the Sub County and Ward Disaster committees under the guidance of the multi-sectorial County Disaster Committee.