Mandera stares at disaster as floods destroy homes, farms in wake of deluge in Ethiopia

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 10 May, 2020 14:23 | 2 mins read
floods Kenya
Floodwater has inundated farms and swept away homes in Mandera County.
Floodwater has inundated farms and swept away homes in Mandera County.

Floods following heavy rains on Ethiopian highlands have caused deaths, uprooted people from their homes and destroyed property worth millions of shillings in Mandera County.

According to Mandera Governor Ali Roba two people died after drowning at Neboi and two others at Suftu on Ethiopian side after River Daua burst its banks.

A survey by the county Agriculture director Bernard Ogutu, Mandera County Assembly Deputy Speaker Farah Abdinoor and the Governor’s press team indicated that Khalalio, Hareri and Aresa were among worst affected areas by the ravaging water that has swept away crops worth millions of shillings and destroyed more than 30 water pumps.

At Khalalio market, 34 families were left after their houses submerged, area chief Mohamed Kahiye said.

At Hareri Irrigation Scheme, more than 2000 acres of crops have been washed away threatening the county’s food security.

There are also fears of an outbreak of water-borne diseases and malaria as with water sources have been destroyed, forcing locals to use dirty water for domestic purposes.

The waters have also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
The floods have also cut off key roads along River Daua leading to Mandera town.

“Our harvests have been spoilt. Maize that was near maturity, onions, tomatoes, pawpaw, watermelon, oranges, bananas, mangoes, sorghum, millet have been submerged,” a farmer, Mr Omar Abdinoor said.

Worst flood in over 30 years

He said, according to local elders, the last time the area experienced floods of such magnitude was in 1982.

Mandera Deputy Speaker Farah Abdinoor decried the destruction of farms and roads by the floods and appealed to the county and national government to move with speed to assist locals.

The fast flowing River Daua originates from southern Ethiopia and flows southeast across Mandera and into Somalia offering a lifeline to the county.

The county government has subsidised seeds and fertilizer to farmers to boost production.

The residents affected by floods appealed to the county and national government to provide them food rations, clean water, mosquito nets and seeds and fertilizer.

Mr Roba has issued an alert over threats posed by floods in the county.

“We have reports of massive flooding of River Daua being experienced upstream from the Ethiopian highlands which is the source of the river, and all the way to Mandera town,” the governor said.

The floods, he noted, had submerged the main sources of water serving Mandera Municipality residents.

Suftu intake is completely submerged as is Neboi whose three wells have collapsed.

The Handadu intake has its two wells submerged thus rendered out of service.

The damage to water infrastructure has left only a private well-Haji Kerrow serving Mandera Municipality but Roba said the county’s emergency teams were working round the clock to restore supplies.

Roba urged Rhamu Dimtu, Khalicha, Yabicho, Rhamu, Girisa, Sala, Hareri, Aresa, Gadudia and Khalalio residents to move to higher ground.

Also at risk are Bellah, Bulla Haji, Neboi, Shafshafey, Boystown and Border Point One residents.

An emergency surveillance team from the county government is on standby to evacuate residents threatened by floods from Rhamu Dimtu to Border Point One.