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Heavy downpour in Mandera claims a life, cuts off transport

A seven-year-old boy was Saturday night swept away by flash floods as he slept in their house at Wargadud Township in Mandera County.

Confirming the incident area Chief, Adow Abdi Mohamed said, “We are in a dilemma since every part of this town is flooded. A seven-year-old boy has died while another person is in hospital,” said Mr. Mohamed.

Meanwhile heavy rains have been pounding Mandera county and the neighbouring Ethiopia for the past two weeks paralysing Transport to and outside Mandera county.

Sections of the roads have been cut off by flash floods making them impassable for vehicles plying the Mandera-Moyale-Nairobi route.

In Mandera West, bridges have been washed away making it impossible for buses to ferry passengers from the region to other counties.

The chairman of the Mandera buses association Mohamed Bardad decried the poor road infrastructure in the region. “We have stopped travelling to Nairobi because the roads are completely impassable. The heavy rainfall has cut off sections of the road and we cannot connect to either side of the road, we will wait until it subsides, “said Bardad.

The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has said the county has received above normal rainfall.

Mr. Hussein Alio, the NDMA drought coordinator said the region has lost several livestock due to cold related diseases.

In Gither ward over 1,000 goats have succumbed to the downpour according to the area MCA Rashid Mohamed.

Farmers along River Daua that flows from the Ethiopian highlands have lost their crops to floods as the river has broken its banks spreading to over 3 kilometers wide.

Takaba Town MCA Bishar Maalim Abdullahi lamented the destruction was caused by the flooded river that has burst its banks.

“People along the seasonal river have been displaced, houses submerged and we are in the process of knowing how many people have been affected,” he said as he called for humanitarian support.

An officer from the area meteorological office Otin Dipo has warned the rains are going to be enhanced from the third week of October to December.

Mr. Dipo in an interview with journalists in Mandera town asked residents to move to higher grounds to avoid drowning from unexpected flash floods.

Mandera county Commissioner’s office has in the meantime organised for a stakeholder’s forum on Monday to deliberate on how to mitigate effects of flooding.

Mandera West Deputy County Commissioner Kipkoech Labatt described the situation as disastrous.

“The situation is not good in Mandera West but we are hoping a reduction of downpour in Ethiopia will calm the situation,” he said.

By Dickson Githaiga

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