Overnight storm wreaks havoc in Nairobi

October 18, 2014 10:01 am
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Most of the residents who spoke to Capital FM News said the County Government needed to take urgent action to expand the drainage system/FRANCIS MBATHA
Most of the residents who spoke to Capital FM News said the County Government needed to take urgent action to expand the drainage system/FRANCIS MBATHA
NAIROBI Kenya, Oct 18 – An overnight storm left a trail of destruction in Nairobi, leading to complaints by city residents over a poor drainage system.

Most of the residents who spoke to Capital FM News said the County Government needed to take urgent action to ensure a fully functional drainage system.

They expressed fears of an outbreak of waterborne diseases if the situation persisted.

“With the money that has been dispatched all over, we expected some changes on all sectors including the drainage system. We’ve seen nothing,” a trader within the worst hit Gikomba area complained.

“Nairobi is the capital city and we are more of taxpayers than other people within the country.”

Sylvia Mungai wondered; “Why do they wait until the rains are here with us?”

“They had all the time to check on the manholes whether they are blocked or not… why act when it’s too late?” she asked.

The situation did not spare city motorists either as some spent the night on the road after their vehicles stalled.

Nairobi Central Business District Taxi Association chairman Dickson Karanja said: “The situation was bad… the road was fully sub-merged at Globe Cinema Interchange and Forest Road.”

“We want the County Governor to do something. We use all our money on repairing our cars when it rains and yet we are paying taxes.”

Most the busy roads within the city like Enterprise Road, Bunyala and a section of Haile Selassie Avenue were submerged in water.

One person was also feared dead on account of the heavy rains.

The Kenya Red Cross through its Twitter account said the death may have occurred in Mukuru Kayaba slums.

It has however confirmed that several persons sustained injuries in the area.

Several accidents were also reported.

The Nairobi County Government however says it’s putting in place measures to bring an end to the perennial flooding caused by heavy rains.

The County Executive in charge of Urban Planning Tom Odongo said they are working on a drainage master plan that will see storm drains constructed.

Meanwhile the County Executive in charge of Roads Mohammed Abdullahi says they will have stop gap measures in place by Monday.

They both acknowledged that the county’s drainage system is wanting and blamed it on the lack of a comprehensive plan to address the problem.

The downpour also affected power supply and customers were left without electricity through Friday night.

Kenya Power said the heavy rain uprooted trees which caused considerable damage to electricity feeders serving several estates in the city.

“Some sensitive installations have also been affected. Kenyatta National Hospital, for example, was flooded and power supply had to be disconnected to avoid cases of electrocution,” the firm said.

The areas severely affected by the outages include Industrial Area, Gigiri, Mathare, Umoja, Karen and Rongai.

Kiserian, Eastleigh, Kariobangi, Donholm, Spring Valley, and Machakos areas were also hard hit.

Kenya Power repair and maintenance teams were mobilised to restore power supply to the affected areas.

Police appealed to city residents to exercise patience on the roads as they worked to resolve the traffic caused by flooded roads.

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