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Five people drown in separate incidents in Machakos due to El Nino 

Five people have drowned in Machakos County in El Nino related incidents of flash floods since October.

A Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidate drowned in Matungulu on November 24 when he slipped and fell in a dam while taking a selfie with fellow classmates after writing his last paper, while a 14-year-old boy was swept away by raging waters as he crossed a flooded river in Kinanie, Athi River Sub County on November 3.

Two minors drowned while swimming in a private dam in Vota, Machakos while a Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) candidate drowned while swimming in a dam in Masinga on October 31.

Several cases of collapsed buildings due to the heavy rains were reported in Kivaa, Kyamwilu, Muumandu, Muvuti, and Kithendu areas. However, there were no injuries.

The revelations were made during the County Disaster Management Committee meeting held at the ‘White house’ led by the County Secretary Dr.Muya Ndambuki and co–chaired by the Machakos Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) David Rotich.

A multi-agency team that consists of officers from the national government, county government, Kenya Red Cross and other relevant agencies will spearhead and coordinate efforts to mitigate the impacts of the El Nino rains in the county.

“The team will monitor and assess the El Nino rains and put in place a contingency plan to reduce the impacts caused the heavy rains,” said Ndambuki.

The county secretary said the team will also ensure that members of the public are sensitized through timely dissemination of information on impending El Nino occurrences, potential risks and the recommended safety measures.

“We will ensure the flow of information is centralized so that we can speak in one voice and not on cross purposes to help in keeping the public alert and mitigate the floods,” he said.

Ndambuki noted that no major incidents have been reported in Machakos but reiterated the county’s preparedness in responding to any disasters caused by the rains.

“As a county, we are on high alert and the emergency response team is ready and prepared to tackle any eventualities. We have also identified evacuation centres for those who might be displaced by the rains,” said Ndambuki.

DCC Rotich also assured of the national government’s commitment to ensure that matters related to El Nino rains are well handled.

Rotich further called on the two levels of government to work together to mitigate the effects of the rains.

The team has identified 19 hotspot areas in the county prone to El Nino related disasters.

They include Mavoko along the river Athi basin, Kasuitu village, Kanaani, Kicheko and Kilili slums, Jam city, Kinanie, and Kwa Mang’eli all in Athi River Sub County.

Others are Mutituni near Inyooni river, Muvuti along Ikiwe river, Miwani/Manza and Miwongoni river basins in Machakos sub-county.

Also in the list of hot spot areas is Masinga dam and its environs in Masinga sub county, Katine, Kituluni, Donyo Sabuk ,Kantafu, Malaa, Kamulu and Joska in Matungulu sub county.

Others are river Thwake basin, Kathaana, and Syanthi quarries.

By Roselyne Kavoo

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