Poor planning, clogged drainages blamed for floods wreaking havoc in Kitengela

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 21 Apr, 2024 17:42 | 3 mins read
Submerged homes and apartment at Kitengela New Valley following heavy Saturday downpour. PHOTO/Christine Musa
Submerged homes and apartment at Kitengela New Valley following heavy Saturday downpour. PHOTO/Christine Musa

Heavy downpours on Saturday night witnessed heavy flooding in Kitengela town and its environs to the chagrin of residents who blame the menace on clogged drainages.

Most feeder roads including the tarmacked sections, remained impassable amid heavy traffic snarl-up along Nairobi Namanga road highway which lasted for hours.

Some vehicles were submerged in floodwaters, a situation locals say could have been worse in the absence of traffic officers who spent the night guiding motorists.

"The traffic snarl-up was messy because of poor visibility and flooding. We thank the Kitengela traffic officers because they spent the night on the road and played a significant role in guiding vehicles to avert taking dangerous flooded areas. The presence of the officers on the road saved motorists the agony of being submerged in areas that were cut off," Karaura Joel, a resident stated.

Some roads in Kitengela remain impassable following heavy flooding occasioned by heavy Saturday downpour. PHOTO/Christine Musa
Some roads in Kitengela remain impassable following heavy flooding occasioned by heavy Saturday downpour. PHOTO/Christine Musa

Locals have also raised concern over massive constructions along riparian land leaving some homes submerged in floodwaters. Homes in the New Valley area were the most affected. The bridge connecting the area and the populous Kitengela remained impassable for hours after the river burst its banks.

Some homeowners who bought homes recently in the area expressed disappointment and fear that if the rains continue their homes will be inhabitable and might be washed away.

"I bought my house at 5 million seven months ago. Following the rains, I am shocked and disappointed to learn that my house is along riparian land. Owing to the high number of high-end homes along this stretch, one could not doubt the situation of the home. I will temporarily relocate my family because if the rains continue, we are at risk of being washed away," a homeowner at New Valley said.

Some residents who reside in apartments along the river were left stranded following the heavy flooding which forced them to stay indoors awaiting the water to subside.

Submerged homes and apartments at Kitengela New Valley following heavy Saturday downpour. PHOTO/Christine Musa
Submerged homes and apartments at Kitengela New Valley following heavy Saturday downpour. PHOTO/Christine Musa

In the Noonkopir area, some families spent the night in the cold after houses were flooded.

"We have no drainage here and every time it rains our houses are flooded. Apartments have been set up everywhere with no water outlet. We are aware that we will suffer flooding when there is a heavy downpour but we stay here because the houses are cheap and affordable compared to other areas," John Makokha, a resident of Migingo, Noonkopir said.

Flooding, waterborne diseases

The flooding menace comes amid an outcry by locals who have raised concerns over careless and heavy dumping of garbage along drainages.

Garbage menace in Kitengela.Locals blame the county government for its failure to contain garbage leading to clogged drainages resulting in flooding. PHOTO/Christine Musa
Garbage menace in Kitengela.Locals blame the county government for its failure to contain garbage leading to clogged drainages resulting in flooding. PHOTO/Christine Musa

"We have from time to time protested poor garbage dumping but the county government has ignored our plight. The county ministry of environment has failed," Maurice Njoya, a resident said.

Some rogue landlords are also taking advantage of the rains to channel raw sewer water to the roads exposing locals to waterborne diseases.

The county administrator in charge of Kitengela, Bruce Likama, admits the menace is rampant and hazardous, warning that the rogue landlords are being profiled to face the law.

Kitengela Town was elevated to a Municipality in July 2022, a move locals say has not had any significant impact on planning and development.

The existence of the Mazingira unit launched by the county boss Joseph Ole Lenku to manage waste has also been blamed for sleeping on the job.

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