3 people rescued in Joska after Athi River burst its banks

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 22 Apr, 2024 16:17 | 3 mins read
Water overflowing the Athi River bridge at Donyo Sabuk in Machakos County .
Water overflowing the Athi River bridge at Donyo Sabuk in Machakos County . PHOTO/Screengrab by K24 Digital

Three people, accompanied by their loyal canine companion, were rescued from floods caused by the swelling Athi River in Joska, Matungulu Sub County, Machakos County.

Kenya Red Cross Society, who had sprung into action following a distressed call confirmed the rescue mission on Monday, April 22.

"We have just rescued three people - two gentlemen, a lady, and their dog - in Joska, Matungulu Sub County in Machakos after they were marooned as a result of Athi River bursting its banks."

Situation at Athi River

Athi River has been one of the many areas at the centre of tragedies following heavy rains lashing most parts of the country.

On Sunday, April 21, in light of Athi River overflowing its banks, 14 people were rescued after being marooned by floodwaters in Kinanie, Machakos County.

Kenya Red Cross said the distressing situation unfolded earlier in the day when the Athi River burst its banks, causing 19 people to be trapped in Kinanie.

"After the Athi River broke its banks this morning, 19 people in Kinanie, Machakos County, were marooned. So far, we have managed to rescue 14 people—10 adults and 4 children—as efforts to rescue five others continue. A multi-agency response team, which includes the Kenya Red Cross and the County government, is engaged in the rescue efforts," the statement read.

In an advisory for the National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU) on Sunday, Kenyans were warned to brace themselves for heavy downpours in the coming week.

The rains will affect several regions, including the Lake Victoria Basin, the Rift Valley, and the Highlands both to the west and east of the Rift Valley.

The Southeastern Lowlands, coastal areas, and the North Eastern sector are also expected to experience significant rainfall.

According to NDMU, the heavy rainfall, exceeding 40mm within 24 hours, is anticipated to continue from April 19, 2024.

"Heavy rainfall is experienced over several parts of the Lake Victoria Basin, the Rift Valley, and Highlands West and East of the Rift Valley, Southeastern Lowlands, coastal and North Eastern sectors is expected to continue from 19 April 2024. Heavy rainfall of more than 40mm in 24 hours is predicted over Lake Victoria Basin, the Rift Valley, Highlands West and East of the Rift Valley including the Nairobi area, Southeast Lowlands and the Coastline on 19 April 2024. It is likely to intensify from 20th to 21 April 2024 to more than 50mm in 24hrs along the coastline and Northeastern parts of the country," NDMU stated.

Additionally, the intensity of the rainfall is forecasted to escalate, reaching over 50mm in 24 hours along the coastline and northeastern parts of the country from April 20th to 21st, 20

In addition to heavy rainfall, the weather is expected to bring gusty winds, large ocean waves, and strong southerly winds in the Southeastern sector, further exacerbating the situation.

The NDMU specifically identified numerous counties as areas of concern, including Kisumu, Homabay, Migori, Nairobi, Mombasa, and many others.

Residents residing in these areas are advised to remain vigilant for potential floods, flash floods, and reduced visibility.

People affected

NDMU emphasized the risks associated with driving or walking through moving water, and open fields, and cautioned against seeking shelter under trees or near grilled windows to minimize exposure to lightning strikes.

Furthermore, the NDMU warned that strong winds could result in roof damage, uprooting of trees, and structural damage, while large waves may impact marine activities.

"Flood waters may appear in places where it has not rained heavily especially downstream. Residents are advised to avoid driving through, or walking in moving water or open fields and not to shelter under trees and near grilled windows to minimize exposure to lightning strikes. Strong winds may blow off roofs, uproot trees and cause structural damage. Large waves may affect marine activities. Updates will be provided promptly if there are any changes," the statement by NDMU read in part.

The authority has pledged to provide prompt updates in case of any changes in the weather conditions.

NDMU addressed various government agencies and organizations, including the Presidency, relevant ministries, the Kenya Red Cross, and media outlets.