Floods death toll rises as rains intensify

A trailer is stuck in a flooded road at Kamandura flyover, Limuru, on Nakuru-Naivasha highway on April 14, 2018 due to heavy rains. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • In Tana River, six people have been killed and at least 1,500 families have been displaced with 3,000 others already in camps.
  • In Coast region, horticultural produce traders using Garissa-Malindi road have been affected as their products perish on the road.
  • In Turkana, four trucks transporting goods to Lodwar have been swept away at Kainuk since the heavy rains started a week ago.

As heavy rains will continue to be experienced around the country, especially in the northern and south eastern regions, the death toll from floods continues to rise.

On Saturday, a man was swept away by raging floods as he attempted to cross a flooded road in Charidende,  Tana River County.

The death brings to at least six the number of people killed in the county, which has been the most affected, with three others missing in Samburu County.

Narok County also experienced heavy downpour in the last one week raisng fears of a humanitarian crisis in the affected areas.

DISRUPT

In Tana River, at least 1,500 families have been displaced with 3,000 others already in camps as the effects of flooding continue to be felt.

More than 300 families are also reported to be stranded in Nanigi Village within the county. A boat bought by the county government to aid in rescue operations has not done much.

Traders in the county are also counting losses following the heavy rains that have disrupted transport and their businesses.

Some roads have become impassable. Among them is the Garissa-Malindi road.

As a result of the breakdown in road transport, some traders have been forced to increase prices of basic commodities.

SH120

A kilo of sugar is now selling at Sh120 from Sh90, an egg at Sh20 from Sh15, and a kilo of maize flour is selling at Sh65 from Sh50.

Horticultural produce traders have been the most affected as their products perish on the road, incurring huge losses.

Trucks with manufactured goods have been forced to drive back to Garissa.

Habiba Abdullahi, a green grocer in Hola told the Nation that she expected her goods from Nairobi three days ago but the impassable roads have cut the links forcing the truck to drive back to the city.

“The truck came but upon reaching the road and found it impassable, it went back. We may be forced to use the Mombasa route, which is expensive and by the time the goods get here, they may not be in good state, “she said.

SWEPT AWAY

Hotel owners fear that if the current situation persists, they will have to hike food prices.County Executive for Roads  Stephen Wachira told the Nation that they are working closely with the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to repair the roads as they try to open another access route to the county.

In Turkana County, transport along the busy Kitale-Lodwar highway was paralysed after River Turkwel burst its banks, sweeping away two trucks at the dangerous Kainuk drift.

The trucks were transporting goods to Lodwar from Kitale in Trans-Nzoia County.

Mr Patrick Lokaapa, a resident of Kainuk Town, said one of the trucks was swept away on Friday morning while the other one was overpowered by raging waters on Thursday evening.

NARROW DRIFT

So far, four trucks have been swept away at Kainuk since the heavy rains started a week ago.

Mr Lokaapa said most drivers often misjudge the intensity of water on the narrow drift.

“The drift was constructed last year by KeNHA for use by heavy commercial vehicles to reduce pressure on the existing bridge, currently left for light vehicles. It’s unreliable. We need a bridge at Kainuk,” he said.

The bridge is a critical infrastructure for Turkana County which relies on neighbouring counties, especially Trans-Nzoia, for food supply.

SUSWA

On Sunday, transport along the Lodwar-Lokichogio highway was cut-off for more than 15 hours after the Kawalase drift was flooded.

An Eldoret Express bus and a pick-up truck were washed away. Residents rescued more than 50 passengers who included children.

KeNHA has since cautioned motorists and locals to be careful while approaching Kainuk, Kawalase and Kalemngorok drifts.

The agency warned drivers not to cross the drifts when they are flooded.

In Narok, perennial flash floods have become the order of the day in Suswa on the Narok-Mai Mahiu road.

Reported by Stephen Oduor, Sammy Lutta and George Sayagie

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