Raging floods wreak havoc in Kisumu county

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 19:52 |
Some of the homes submerged in floods due to heavy rains forcing Ombaka residents in Nyando to move to safer grounds. Photo/PD/DANIEL OGENDO

Viola Kosome

Two schools remained closed in Ombaka village in Nyando sub-county as floods continued to wreak havoc in Kisumu county.

Learning failed to take off at Ombaka Mixed Secondary and St John Paul’s Nyamasao Primary schools yesterday after the institutions were inaccessible due to floods.

In both schools, which were closed on Friday, only KCSE and KCPE candidates were allowed to remain around. 

The schools are marooned by floodwaters, a situation worsened by the backflow of water from Lake Victoria. They were previously used as rescue centres for families affected by floods.

According to Nyamasao deputy head teacher Simon Oyare, learning was suspended because of the pathetic situation caused by the flood effects.

“We suspended learning until further notice as we wait for the situation to normalise.

Out of the 420 pupils we are having, only 45 candidates are in school,” he said, adding that the pupils’ health is at risk because of the full latrines. 

Oyare noted that syllabus coverage is going to be greatly affected in that they don’t know when the rains will subside for pupils to resume learning. The flash floods have also left more than 400 households displaced.

Camping at Churches

Kakola-Ombaka assistant chief Jacob Ong’udi Ongudi said the victims are camping at Ombaka Catholic, River of Life and Voice of Salvation churches.

He appealed for humanitarian support to the victims.

A woman wades through the flooded road at Kakola after River Nyando burst its banks on Saturday. Photo/PD/DANIEL OGENDO

“The situation is pathetic here in Ombaka, there is urgent need for humanitarian aid from stakeholders to support the floods victims,” said Ongudi.

Properties including crops swept away are residents borne the brunt of the raging floods.

Judith Ochanda, 77, a resident since 1968 says she has never experienced such a situation where many people are being affected and forced to use boats to transfer their properties from the flooded areas. 

“We are appealing to the government to construct dykes to help regulate the water flow. We are hard hit by the flood menace. 

“I have been living in this area for about 52 years now and since then,we have never been affected this much before. 

“We are appealing for the government to construct  for us dykes to help the situation. Our children cannot go to school and the candidates, too, are going to be greatly affected, “she said. 

By then, she said they were about 200 households camping at the institution but when the school’s were re-opening in January, they moved to Ombaka Voice of Salvation Church which is about 200m from the church.

She claims the hygiene and the camp isn’t that conducive with someone like her who has three little children.

Meanwhile, all tourist facilities located at the banks of Mara and Talek Rivers in Masai Mara Game Reserve have closed down because of flooding.

Water from the two rivers marooned the facilities, forcing them to be closed and visitors relocated as heavy rains in Narok continue to pound relentlessly.

On Sunday evening, guests at Mara River Camp, Aruba Mara, Tipilikwani and even those located along seasonal rivers at Ololaimutia area were evacuated as floods also crippled game viewing.

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