, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – The fact that some effort has been made to mitigate the effects of the looming El-Nino in Nairobi County is not in dispute, but more need to be done.
A walk along Juja Road, to the informal sectors in the area, lays the disaster in waiting for all to see.
A section of the drainage running along Juja Road has been unclogged but a huge area remains jammed with garbage and sewage.
El-Nino, going with its effects the last time the country had the rains is dreaded and residents of Mathare and Eastleigh areas are not different; they fear for their lives and property.
“If nothing is done, I can assure you all this area will not be passable,” a vendor within Mathare slums warned.
His stall is built on top of a clogged drainage and he knows very well, “that if it rains I will not be able to work. It does not need El-Nino for this area to be flooded.”
Another applauds the County Government for its efforts so far “but I wonder why they are selective. They have not covered the entire area.”
In Eastleigh 1st Avenue a mounting heap of garbage welcomes one to the busy suburb.
Residents fears the garbage will be swept back to the drainage system worsening the situation once the El-Nino rains starts.
Transport County Executive, Mohamed Abdullahi however blames the residents for littering the drainage system despite the county efforts to ensure it remains unclogged.
He accuses the resident of Eastleigh of being irresponsible.
“Garbage is being collected every day but we do it in the morning and they dump in the evening. It becomes sort of a vicious cycle,” he lamented. “They must help us to help them.”
The county has since mapped out 138 hot spots within Nairobi which include major highways and schools.
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.