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1,000 people displaced in Kisumu as rains wreak havoc

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LA man wades in floodwater to the Ogenya rescue center in Nyando, Kisumu county, on December 2, 2019. [Denish Ochieng/ Standard]

Flash floods have displaced at least 1,000 people in Nyando, Kisumu County.

As families counted their losses, more danger loomed as a furious river Nyando showed signs of bursting its banks after heavy downpour upstream.

Residents said the floods, which started on Sunday, spread into the villages and marooned houses, causing massive destruction of property.

The worst hit villages include Kasiwindi South, Kanyipola, Kasambura, Kalo North and Kalo South.

“It will be worse tonight should river Nyando burst its banks,” said Caren Aoko as she breastfed her baby.

The affected residents are camping at Ombaka and Ogenya evacuation centres.

Leonard Ogola, 73, escaped at night with seven members of his family to the nearby Ombaka Primary School where 200 other households had sought refuge.

Yesterday, the Government said about 300,000 people have been affected by the ongoing heavy rains.

“We have experienced heavy rains throughout the country with 330,000 people affected, 17,000 displaced, 132 lives lost and 11,000 livestock swept away and crops of unknown value destroyed,” said Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna.

He said the rains are expected to continue until the end of December.

Oguna said 32 counties have been affected across the country, mostly in the coastal, western and northern regions.

The areas hit include Lamu, Kwale, Kilifi, Wajir, Taita Taveta, Samburu, Turkana, Bungoma, Homa Bay, Elgeyo Marakwet, Meru and Tharaka Nithi. Others are Machakos, Makueni, Nairobi, Nakuru, Murang’a, Isiolo and Kitui.

He gave the 10 worst affected counties include Mandera, Wajir, Mombasa and West Pokot.

He said the Government was working to restore services in the affected areas such as health, education, transport and housing.

Oguna confirmed that 43 people died in the West Pokot landslides, but seven bodies were yet to be recovered.

In Kajiado County, residents of Mosiro in Kajiado West want dykes built in the area removed, saying they had caused flooding in their homes.

The dykes had been put up to divert Kisamis river from flowing into Lake Magadi.

Yesterday, Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku flew to the area and backed their calls for removal of the dykes.

In Upper Makueni, authorities confirmed that nine people had died in a span of two weeks from floods-related incidents as rains continue to wreak havoc across Makueni County.

On Sunday, a seven-year-old girl died while her 10-year-old brother was rushed to Kilungu sub-county hospital after their house were hit by mudslides.

Elsewhere, the body of a boda boda rider who drowned in flash floods four days ago in Njoro has been found.

Bagaria chief David Mugekenyi said Joseph Nderitu was swept away by raging floods on Friday afternoon as he was crossing River Bagaria on foot.

Meanwhile, residents of Barut and Kwa Rhonda areas in Nakuru town woke up to a swollen River Ndarugu following heavy rains that hit the town and its environs.

“The storm water flowing to Lake Nakuru submerged the only bridge on the busy commercial and public transport route,” said Joel Amboga, a resident.

Two people drowned and several others were left homeless in Lungalunga in Kwale County. This brings the death toll from flooding at the Coast to four following the drowning of two people in Taita Taveta County on Sunday. [Report by Dennis Onyango, James Omoro, Peterson Githaiga, Stephen Nzioka, Victor Nzuma, Diana Kimanzi, Kennedy Gachuhi, Weldon Kipkemoi, Renson Mnyamwezi]

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