, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – Search and rescue efforts were underway in Narok on Wednesday after flash floods claimed nine lives on Tuesday.
A Kenya Red Cross team was dispatched from Nairobi to the county to assist in the manpower intensive efforts.
“It’s difficult to say what the true extent of the damage is given there is a lot of debris to sort through,” Michael Aiyabei, who was part of the team sent from Nairobi, told Capital FM News.
The heavy rains which caused River Narok to burst its banks rendered the road to Bomet from Narok impassable with the inaccessibility delaying emergency services response times.
The flooding in Narok followed a heavy downpour on Sunday which left large parts of Nairobi flooded and added to the thousands left homeless by flooding in Nyanza; a humanitarian crisis that had the Kisumu county government asking the national government for assistance to contain the situation.
Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma told reporters on Tuesday that he had written to the Cabinet Secretary for National Resources and Environment asking for help to de-silt the rivers experiencing overflow due to the torrential rains that pounded the region.
“I have written a very urgent letter to Professor Judi Wakhungu. What we want is to do an aerial survey and identify where we need to open up the water ways and to reduce the speed of flow, we also needed to have opened up water pans up stream to trap the water which is causing flash floods downstream. Unfortunately, the budgets for that was left with the national government,” Ranguma said.
And as the Kenya Meteorological Services projected that the region would continue to experience heavy rains well into May, the Kenya Red Cross regional co-ordinator Emmanuel Owako said they would remain on high alert.
“We don’t want to see lives lost in floods as witnessed in the past years. Let families living in low areas move out and seek refuge on higher ground,” he urged.
Earlier in the month 10 people died in Mandera after the bus they were travelling in was caught up in a flash flood as it attempted to cross a seasonal river.