Heavy rains destroy homes, disrupt learning in Nairobi
Heavy rains wreaked havoc in several parts of Nairobi on Thursday, disrupting learning and business activities for many.
Several learners did not go to school after floodwaters rendered Kayaba/Hazina bridge in South B, Starehe sub-county, impassable.
The bridge is core Mukuru slum’s residents as it connects the neighbourhood to the South B business center, Mombasa Road and Nairobi’s Industrial Area.
Raging waters attributed to a heavy downpour in Kibera, Dagoretti and Upper Hill burst the banks of Ngong River after Kibera Silanga Dam overflowed and forced it way downstream.
Traders who go to Wakulima and Gikomba markets at 3am were the first to experience the effects and for some, sleep was interrupted as the water flowed into their houses. Those who managed to save their property took shelter on verandahs and in neighbour's houses.
The rainwater also washed away a mound of garbage that had been sitting below the bridge, which residents had tried in vain to move.
Some rushing to work put their lives at risk, crawling over a metal pipe with 33KV power cables, right above raging floodwaters. On top of the pipe were twisted plastic water pipes which they held onto in order not to slide off into the water. Only three men successfully crossed the bridge using this method.
Those who fled from their homes, watched the events from stairs leading there.
The most affected areas were Kikaloni, Mandazi Road, Owino Road, Karanjo and Budalangi while other affected slums were Mukuru-Fuata Nyayo, Mukuru-Reuben and Mukuru-Kingstone.
In Industrial Area, stagnant rainwater covered about 100 metres of Gilgil and Entreprise roads. At the DT Dobie roundabout at the Entreprise/ Lusaka road junction, the situation was no different as floods caused heavy traffic.
A short distance from the roundabout, business activities at several companies opposite Lusaka Road were disrupted.
At St Elizabeth Primary School in Mukuru-Lunga Lunga slum, pupils could not go out for physical activities as their playground was flooded.
An engineer from the Nairobi County Government, who did not want to be named, said the roads flooded as the main drainage system was blocked by garbage..
He added that mushrooming buildings were also a contributing factor.