Property worth millions of shillings have been destroyed after ten exclusive tourists ‘Safari camps’ in Tsavo National Park were washed away by raging floods on Thursday, following heavy rainfall currently pounding the region.
Most of the camps were located deep in the heart of Tsavo East National Park, near the Galana River. After heavy rainfall that has lasted for weeks, Galana River broke its banks and flooded over nine posh tented camps completely obliterating them.
Stranded tourists and panicky staff manning the camps had to be airlifted by Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) personnel after they were marooned in their respective camps.
Evacuation through the ground routes had become impossible, as raging waters destroyed roads making the area inaccessible. There was also the threat of crocodiles floating in the waters after the banks burst.
Amongst the camps hardest hit by the floods include Doa Doa, Kulalu, Kiboko, Swara, Bufallo and Shoroa safari camps. Doa Doa camp and crocodile camps were washed away completely. Others affected include Galdessa Lodge and Bigi Camp that border Galana River.
Mr. Alex Njai, a tour driver, says he was forced to cancel his trip to Doa Doa after they were informed the camp was no more. “The camps are now a flooded zone. It’s a big lose to tourism industry,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Wilson Mwadilo, Chair of Hoteliers in the region, were unsuccessful as his phone went unanswered. Tsavo Conservation Area Assistant Director George Osuri said he was in a meeting and would respond to questions later.
And in Marsabit County Hundreds of residents in Moyale Sub-county of are in dire need of humanitarian assistance after they were displaced by floods occasioned by the ongoing heavy rains.
Houses belonging to residents of Dabel, Dirdima, Illadu, Qualaliwe, Funanyata, Qolob and Godhe in Golbo ward were swept by flash floods following heavy rains that hit the area for many hours.
Speaking to the press, 43 elders led by Ahmed Abdi Lafa said the residents urgently required food help and utensils among other assistance.
Mr. Lafa said roads have also been rendered impassable cutting off the ward from the rest of the county.
“We walked over 68 kilometres to Moyale to pass this distress call because the area is cut off and theirs is no mobile network there,” he said.
He added that the enhanced rains have caused a lot of damage to property forcing the affected residents to seek shelter at nearby primary schools.
“Our efforts to contact the Red-Cross Society of Kenya are yet to bear fruits,” he further said adding that the residents were faced with a big shortage of food as the road linking Moyale town and Dabel township and surrounding areas is impassable.
The elders on behalf of the residents appealed to the government and other stakeholders to come to their aid without delay.
The situation is also said to be bad in Waye Godha area in neighbouring Sololo sub-county.