Families displaced as raging lake waters leave trail of destruction
Bernard Gitau @benagitau
Thousands of families residing near lakes in Rift Valley region have been displaced after floods left a trail of destruction and loss of livelihood.
From Naivasha, the highest lake in the Rift Valley has partially submerged Kihoto estate which hosts an estimated 35,000 people.
Titus Mugo, a victim claims that in spite of the current economic hard times, they are forced to live in the partially submerged houses.
“It is tough but we have no option. We have been forced to adopt by purchasing a boat to take a ride home after daily hustles,” he said.
To him, this is a new phenomenon because flooding has never reached the current level.
Emily Akoth says that with no government help, they are forced to wade in the water to reach their houses, a situation which has exposed them to danger of contracting water borne diseases.
“We have children in our households and we are likely to get pneumonia, cholera among other diseases but we have no option,” she said.
Kihoto has turned into an extension of Lake Naivasha and hippos are having a field day in residential areas.
Enock ole Kiminta; program coordinator at Lake Naivasha Basin Water Resources Users Association has described the scenario as nature taking its course.
“We have encroached riparian areas and also defied the late Wangari Mathai on conserving the environment. We have rattled Mother Nature and her wrath is evident,” he said.
Kiminta indicates that over 35,000 people are likely to be affected if the water levels continue to rise.
Apart from Kihoto village, over 8 hotels and various campsites have been submerged. In Nakuru at Mwariki estate, the cries are the same.
In Bagoria National Reserve, Kenya Wildlife Service offices are under the water with various schools, hospitals among other households being swallowed by the bulging lakes.