NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 15 – With the expected heavy El Nino rains next month, the County of Nairobi has urged residents to brace themselves for harsh times due to heavy flooding in most parts.
In an interview with Capital FM News, Transport County Executive, Mohamed Abdullahi warned that though the county has rolled out several mitigating measures, it may not be possible to prevent the destruction and inconveniences that come with such heavy rains.
“The indications we are getting is that we are looking at over 90 percent chance of having El Nino. We are trying to ensure we mitigate the effects.”
“This is however a natural phenomenon and there’s what we can do and there is what we cannot do,” he said.
According to Abdullahi, based on the effects of the rains experienced in March and April, the impact of the El Nino will be even more adverse.
“When it rains, they say in Nairobi, it pours, before you know it our roads are flooded and they become rivers. We expect a lot of flush floods and you know what that does to the residents of Nairobi,” he said.
The March and April rains were a real nightmare for Nairobi residents who spent hours and even nights stuck in traffic.
Seven deaths were reported in the county while people in areas such as Nairobi West and South C had their houses and businesses submerged in floods.
Abdullahi at the time told Capital FM News that poor drainage due to an old drainage system that was not consummate with the current population and development was to blame for the heavy flooding.
Poor waste management was also a major contributor to heavy clogging common in most areas in Nairobi.
In preparation for the El Nino rains, Abdullahi appealed to Nairobi residents to ensure drainage pipes in their neighbourhoods are kept clean.
He explained that the county was focusing on hot-spot areas in the seventeen sub counties.
“We get labourers out there to open up drains, but we are calling residents in areas that we cannot reach, they should inform us. Residents should also ensure they do not litter,” he appealed.
So far, the county has been holding Town Hall meetings in high risk areas to prepare the residents and how they can protect themselves and their livelihoods during the heavy rains.
Abdullahi also urged those in high risk areas and with alternative places to live in to consider relocating during the El Nino rains.
Some of the high risk areas include South C, Nairobi West, Loresho By pass, Kileleshwa, Garden Estate, Thome, Kahawa West, Donholm, Runda and Evergreen Estates.
Others include Moi Girls Secondary School, Nairobi, Lavington at Chalbi Drive and Mombasa Road, Njiru Estate, Kamiti Road and Eastleigh.
According to the Kenya Meteorological Services, Kenya will experience El Nino rains from October to December.
It urged people leaving in low lying areas to relocate to safer ground.