Four die as floods wreak havoc around country

Friday, October 18th, 2019 07:08 |
Mombasa residents brave the floods. PHOTO/FILE

By Harison Kivisu and Charles Muasya

Four passengers perished on Wednesday evening when the vehicle they were traveling in was swept by raging floods at Mutindi River in Matinyani, Kitui County. 

Two persons managed to swim to safety before the vehicle was dragged downstream. 

Kitui County Police Commander Lydia Ligami said three bodies from the ill-fated vehicle had been retrieved while one remains trapped in the wreckage.

He said police had a difficult time accessing the scene because of the swollen river.

“Multi-agency recovery efforts led by Kitui County Disaster Team are underway to retrieve the remaining body,” said Ligami.

Matinyani sub-county police commander John Sawe said the victims drowned when their double cabin pick-up was swept away as they tried to cross the river which has swollen because of heavy downpour.

He said the vehicle belonged to Prime Telcoms Limited and had six occupants at the time of accident. 

Coast problem

Meanwhile, floods resulting from heavy downpour have caused havoc in Coast region with dozens of families displaced and roads rendered impassable.

Several parts of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi have been cut off with hundreds of people stranded on the roads for the better part of yesterday.

Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has asked motorists to exercise caution while driving on some of the roads due to poor visibility, damage and part of the infrastructure being washed away. 

Residential houses, business premises, fuel stations, health facilities and schools remained marooned in water and residents could not access services.

Parts of the Likoni-Lunga Lunga road in Kwale has been washed away completely paralysing transport.

In a notice, KeNHA through Corporate communications Assistant director Clara Ouko advised road users to be vigilant when using the Likoni-Lunga lunga road as a result of a damaged culvert at Muhogo area.

The agency said vehicles carrying heavy goods were being re-routed to Lunga Lunga-Kwale-Kombani road.

“Following the ongoing heavy rains being experienced at the coast region, motorists are being advised to exercise caution,” said Ouko.

In Mombasa, motorists plying the Mombasa-Malindi highway and Bamburi-Kiembeni and Utange route also experienced difficulties on the roads from flooding.

Handcart bills

“Some children cannot access their schools because roads and school compounds are already flooded, this road heading to Kiembeni is blocked by floods. We are forced to pay handcart pushers to carry us across,” said Florence Wambui, a resident of Kiembeni estate.  

Some of the residents living in flood prone areas of Junda, Kazandani, Kwa Bullo and Ziwa la Ng’ombe have been forced to move out of their houses. 

At Junda, residents said they spent part of Thursday night standing.

“I did not sleep, I spent whole night standing because my house got flooded. I have not salvaged anything,” said Rashid Mbua.

Ziwa la Ng’ome primary school and dispensary remained flooded with pupils and patients unable to access the facilities.

Residents expressed fear of an outbreak of water borne diseases after septic tanks began overflowing.

“There is a crisis because the dispensary is flooded, people cannot access it because of rains,” said George Wambura.

 Kenya Meteorological Department has announced that the country will experience heavy downpour during this month of October.

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