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Heavy rainfall continues to wreak havoc in Lugari

Scores of families in Lugari Constituency have been displaced by floods after Rivers Kipkaren and Nzoia burst their banks following heavy rains.

The rains have left a trail of destruction in parts of Mautuma, Lugari, Chekalini, Lwandeti and Chevaywa wards with hundreds of families left homeless and more people likely to be affected due to the rising water levels in the two rivers.

The rains, which started pounding the area two weeks ago, have swept several houses with others marooned in water with property valued at millions of shillings destroyed.

David Chagusia’s family in Mautuma ward is the worst hit after his compound and the entire farm was flooded with water when river Nzoia broke its banks.

Chagusia narrated that he was woken by floods at about 4am and he managed to rescue his family with a few property as the rest was swept by the raging waters.

Another victim, Donald Olando, is also counting loses after his crops were swept away and section of his compound flooded.

At Mavaka village in Chevaywa ward, several families have been forced to seek refuge at Chepsai primary school after their houses were submerged.

Violet Toili’s family of seven is among those who have been adversely hit and displaced by flooding from the overflowing Nzoia river.

Toili says her family escaped death by whisker after the raging water submerged their house at about 1am on Friday.

She said together with her neighbours, they were forced to spend Saturday night in the cold as the house was completely submerged and rendered inaccessible.

“The rains have been heavier as from last week with the river swelling day by day till Friday when water entered into our houses forcing us to sleep outside before moving to Chepsai primary school,” she said.

Toili said she could not salvage anything and that she lost all her chicken and cattle after the floods struck in the dead hours of the night.

“We managed to get out of the house safely but we could not save anything. I have lost my chicken and cows. My crops have all been swept away,” she said

Her sentiments were echoed by her immediate neighbour, Erick Barasa Wanjala whose house was also submerged with the mud walls collapsing due to the floods. Like Mrs. Toili, Wanjala just ran for his life and did not save his property.

Fear of water borne diseases is looming in the area as the families camping at Chepsai have no food, beddings or proper sanitation.

Apart from those living near Nzoia River, several families along River Kipkaren in Chekalini and Lugari wards have also been affected.

Dickson  Wasilwa, a resident of Railway Line village in Lugari ward, is counting loses after the river broke its bank and swept away his crops and poultry.

Wasilwa, who is also an apiculture famer, says several beehives have been swept away adding that the honey was ready for harvesting.

The victims are appealing to the both national and county government of Kakamega and other well-wishers to come to their aid and assist them with basic needs besides helping them rebuild their structures.

Speaking when he visited some of the victims, the Lugari MP, Ayub Savula said he would engage the National government to enable the trickling of the disaster funds from the National government to the locals.

Savula also called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare the current floods problem a national disaster since thousands of Kenyans have been displaced.

During the visit, Savula donated food and also gave the adversely affected families cash to enable them rent houses as plans to resettle them were put in place.

By Sammy Mwibanda

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