NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on Thursday challenged local governments in flood-prone areas to intensify the clean-up of plastic waste amid a heavy downpour.
According to NEMA Director-General, Geoffrey Wahungu, the agency had reached out to county environment officers to ensure plastic bottles likely to clog drainage systems, particularly in Nairobi, are collected.
“We’ve agreed to seize the opportunity to clean up the debris that has been washed ashore by the fast-flowing streams,” he said during an assessment tour of the Kirichwa Kubwa section on Nairobi River which had flooded.
Floodwaters from the Kirichwa Kubwa section had submerged a bridge connecting St Mary’s Primary School to James Gichuru Road following heavy rains.
The school’s administration was however quick to point out that operations at the institution remained uninterrupted saying learners, parents, and teachers had access to the school through an alternative gate.
“Everybody in the school compound is safe. Our children are safe because we have two entry points to the school. The school is still accessible via Rapta Road,” Benedict Otieno, the school principal told Capital FM News.
Speaking to the media at the scene, Wahungu warned members of the public against attempting to cross flooded roads saying NEMA was monitoring vulnerable areas.
“We have NEMA teams that are monitoring the flood-prone sections of Nairobi River which include Mathare, Huruma, South ‘B’ and ‘C’,” he said.
Floodwaters had disrupted traffic on most roads leading to Nairobi Central Business District, causing huge delays in the morning rush hour on Thursday.
Last week, the meteorological department had reported rainfall levels ranging from 50 mm to 20 mm in most of Nairobi and its environs.
At Moi Air Base in Embakasi, for instance, the weatherman reported 50.3 mm between Tuesday and Thursday last week.
The second highest rainfall was recorded at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 35. 8 mm.
At the Wilson Airport along Lang’ata Road, the weatherman recorded 32.7 mm of rain.
Rainfall levels in Ngong’ and Dagoretti were 21 mm and 17.9 mm respectively.
On Wednesday, the meteorological department had anticipated continuation of heavy rainfall in Nairobi as well as counties in the South Rift Valley, Southeastern lowlands, Northern, and Central region of the country.