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16 dead, over 300 families affected by floods in Makueni

Sixteen people have died while over 300 families have been rendered homeless following heavy rains in Makueni county.

The County Commissioner (CC), Maalim Mohammed said the rains, which have continued to pound across the county, have wreaked havoc leaving a trail of destruction and loss of lives.

Maalim singled out Mbooni and Kilungu as the worst hit areas following mudslides that have claimed lives and displaced hundreds of residents.

He disclosed that over 200 families have been relocated to safer grounds with the government providing food and non- food items.

“We have set four safety camps in Kilungu area and we are in the process of establishing one in Mbooni for those that have been rendered homeless by lands slides,” said the CC.

Maalim also said that the government was working in collaboration with Kenya Red Cross and other stakeholders to ensure that residents living in landslides and flood prone areas are relocated permanently to avert further loss.

“We will work with the most vulnerable residents who face imminent danger every time the county experiences heavy rains,” he said.

The CC said the floods have also affected 129 primary schools across the county with majority reporting sunken toilets, cracked classroom walls and blown off roofs.

Out of the total schools affected 114 are primary schools while 15 are secondary schools.

Addressing the County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC) at his boardroom on Tuesday in Wote, Maalim said several key roads have been rendered impassable or completely cut off by flooding waters.

“Thange bridge and several river drifts in Mangani, Kalamba were washed away paralyzing transport,” he added.

The county commissioner appealed to well-wishers and other non-state organs to help in rebuilding the infrastructure that has been affected by the floods especially in schools to avoid a crisis at the beginning of a new term in 2020.

‘‘The number of schools that have been affected is overwhelming and I am calling upon area MPs to set aside an emergency kitty to rebuild the infrastructure to avoid a looming crisis as schools re-open in January,” added Maalim.

He also noted that all the affected families had sought refuge in schools and underscored the need to have them resettled before schools open.

Addressing the same meeting, the County Kenya Power Manager, Josephat Lango also disclosed that more than 3,052 residents had been plunged to darkness due to the heavy rains.

Lango said the electricity poles had fallen while others were leaning dangerously in 158 locations across the county disrupting power supply.

‘‘Twenty-one transformers have also been affected due to lighting cutting power supply,” said the manager.

He said Sh.25 million was required to fix the damages caused by the heavy rains and restore power in the affected areas.

“The funds will go into replacing the poles and the transformers and we have already escalated the matter to our headquarters,” said Lango.

By  Rosaline Kavoo

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