A joint team of County Disaster Management department, National Government’s Kenya Maritime Authority, Medical officials from the Lodwar County Referral Hospital (LCRH) and a host of humanitarian organisations including Red Cross have begun rescue operations in Lodwar town after floods swept low-lying areas of town.
The team is currently rescuing people at the Lodwar Livestock Market Sale yard who couldn’t move out after River Turkwel burst it’s banks and cut off road access. Other areas targeted include Riverside school and homes along the riverine.
Residents of low-lying areas have been urged to move to safety in high ground with indications that the water levels will rise overnight.
The national and County Governments are leading rescue efforts and will give regular updates of the operations.
Raging floods on Friday paralyzed transport and business activities in Lodwar town after a heavy downpour was witnessed in most parts of Turkana County.
Kawalase River along Lodwar- Lokichoggio road that is located a kilometre away from Lodwar town burst its banks.
From 2pm no vehicles from Lodwar, Lokichoggio and Kalokol towns was able to cross the flooded 100 meters wide river.
For the better part of the day many residents were marooned in their flooded homes.
Ms Anastasia Nagite said that she was unable to go back to her home at Kawalase village after she had travelled to Lodwar town for her shopping.
Ms. Nagite said that the ongoing construction of a bridge along the usually dry river bed should be hastened to ensure uninterrupted movement.
Mr Brian Ekiru said that transportation of fish from Lake Turkana to Lodwar and other parts of the country was among the hard hit activities.
The ongoing construction of a reliable bridge along River Turkwel was also affected as the flooded river also destroyed some sections under construction.
Activities at both the livestock and fish markets were also interrupted by the floods with a planned launch of livestock market days by Governor Josphat Nanok postponed.
Two weeks ago, the flooded Kawalase River swept away a Toyota Land cruiser that was attempting to cross towards Lodwar town, killing the driver.
Turkana Central Sub County Commander David Mburukwa cautioned motorists and members of public against attempting to cross the flooded river until water levels are low to avoid deaths and losses.
By Peter Gitonga