As the country continues to experience prolonged drought precipitated largely by delayed rainfall, residents of Giciiki village in Thika East, Kiambu County are praying for no rain.
Contrary to Kenyans who have been praying hard for rains to bring to an end the drought that has ravaged the country causing untold sufferings, deaths of animals, and crop failure, Gichiiki villagers believe that rainfall will be catastrophic to them as it might, like in the past cause damage to their property and destruction of their crops.
Tucked along Athi River between upper Machakos and Kiambu Counties near the famous Oldonyo Sabuk game reserve, the floods-prone village has been making news in every long-rains season.
Locals have on many occasions been displaced and moved to safer grounds every time the wide Athi river bursts its banks following a heavy downpour.
In many instances, their houses are submerged by the heavy torrents leaving goods worth millions destroyed.
According to Njuguna Njogu who has in the past lost valuable items as a result of heavy rains, the residents further decried that heavy downpours usually bring about crocodiles, snakes, hippos among other harmful animals.
“We are not very interested in rain as this could be disastrous to us as it has been before. We don’t want to find ourselves in the same mess of seeing our property swim into the ravaging floods. It will also be unfortunate to witness attacks by animals such as hippos, crocodiles, and snakes,” Njogu said.
Kahacho Mbugua, another victim of former floods blamed the perennial challenge on poor drainage system, poor physical planning of the area, and failure by leaders to put up key developments to re-channel moving waters.
“This place is poorly planned and the companies that benefit from quarry materials in this area do not also care. It is time that they stand to be counted for preventive solutions,” Mbugua said.
Thika East Deputy County Commissioner Hellen Chege who addressed journalists from the area urged residents to move to safer areas saying the government was keen on putting up good measures to avert the negative effects of flooding in the area.
Chege vowed to involve other stakeholders in ensuring no lives and property is lost during the much-awaited rainy season.
The country, with over 90 per cent of its land arid or semi-arid, has suffered three years of failed rains, causing the worst drought in four decades and a loss of thousands of livestock.