The expected March to May rains may trigger landslides in parts of Murang’a County, the Meteorological Department has warned.
The county is expected to receive above-normal rainfall, precipitation that may cause disaster in landslide-prone areas.
The county meteorological director, Paul Murage, said upper zones of the county will receive more than 1,000 mm of rain in the next season which is expected to start between March 15 and 20.
Murage observed that in the upper zones, areas which include Wajerere, Kigumo, Tuthu and Kahatia are likely to experience landslides as the soils are still wet.
He explained that earth cracks that emerged in some areas of the county are still widening, saying after a heavy downpour the cracks may also cause disaster.
“Murang’a County is expected to receive above-normal rains but unfortunately the rains will be poorly distributed. Heavy downpour has been a cause of disaster in this county for the past years and we want local residents to be careful and to look out for any possible landslide,” added Murage when he addressed the media at the Gitugi area of Mathioya Sub-County on Monday.
Murage’s warning comes at a time when a family which was displaced by a landslide in 2018 in parts of Gitugi still stays at Mutitu Youth Polytechnic.
The family was directed to leave the institution’s land but there is a challenge of getting a safer place to dwell.
Murage further stated that lower parts of the county like Makuyu, Ithanga and Kakuzi are likely to experience floods.
“Ndakaini is 97 percent full, so we expect spillage once a few days after rains onset. Spillage of the dam may cause floods in parts of Ithanga so people living near rivers should be on alert,” he added.
During the next rain season, lower parts of Murang’a which usually receive rains of not more than 500 mm, are likely to receive between 500mm and 700mm. Middle zones of parts like Kahuro, Maragua and Murang’a town will receive between 700mm-1000mm.
Upper zone of the county which is prone to landslides, will receive more than 1000mm of rain with residents being cautioned to be alert and move to save areas if they note anything which may trigger landslides.
Meanwhile, the director advised farmers who are yet to harvest their maize from farms to devise ways on how they can protect the crops from rains.
“Farmers can cut the upper parts of the maize stocks and leave the lower parts which contain maize cobs to dry. This will hasten the drying process,” he said as farmers in some parts of the county start preparing their farms for the next rain season.
Murage further challenged the county government to hasten unlocking the drainage system in the main trading centres to avoid flooding.