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Desperation as Athi bursts and overflows bridge

Desperation  struck  tens of commuters as Athi River burst its banks and submerged a bridge linking Kiambu and Machakos County near Donyo Sabuk market.

The commuters on the Makutano –Tala road remained stranded near the Donyo Sabuk Bridge for the better part of the day waiting for the waters to subside in vain. The overflow began at around 10am, catching commuters unawares.

Near  the bridge, matatus and personal vehicles had been parked as commuters sought other interventions.

The Thika East Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Thomas Sankei  who visited the area on Thursday  warned them against crossing the river, saying it was dangerous.

Sankei said traffic police would be deployed in the area to keep vigil and prevent reckless drivers from attempting to drive through the bridge.

He

Athi River near Kilimabogo area that burst its banks overrunning a bridge that connects Kiambu and Machakos County on Thursday December 5, 2019. Photo by Muoki Charles/KNA.

said the situation had been recurring every rainy season and hoped contractors tarmacking the Tala-Makutano road which was launched four years ago would address the challenge. “We hope the contractor puts up a durable bridge that should be several metres above the water level,” he said.

Titus Wambua had travelled on the road at around 7am to attend a court hearing at Kithimani law court in Yatta, Machakos County only to return at around 11am to find the river had broken banks.

“I passed through here at 7am and the river water was flowing normally. However, on returning at 11am, the river had broken its banks and overflowed the bridge,” he said.

Titus Mulanja, a Kitui resident said he had gone to visit his in-laws in Donyo Sabuk area to prepare for Saturday’s wedding for his son but found the road impassable due to raging waters. His only option remains to make preparations on phone unless the water subsides.

Last week, a police helicopter rescued a fisherman Vincent Musila who had been marooned by the same river waters near fourteen falls, a few kilometres away.

Meanwhile, residents of the nearby Kisiiki village were on Thursday evacuated as the raging floods swept scores of their livestock.

By  Muoki  Charles

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