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Hundreds Displaced As River Nzoia Burst Banks

Hundreds of people in Siaya County were last night rendered homeless after their homes were submerged by river Nzoia floodwaters.

People whose homes and farms border the river in Usonga and West Ugenya locations are now counting loses which could run into millions of shillings after their properties were washed away while hundreds of acres under crops were totally submerged.
According to government officials, the worst affected areas are in Nyadorera in Usonga, Sifuyo and Masat sub locations in West Ugenya location.
Among those affected is a farmer, John Okonya Ogera whose farm in Uyosi area in Masat East sub location was submerged, together with those of his neighbour.
Okonya said that close to 200 acres of maize, beans, kales, tomatoes and other horticultural produce have gone to waste as a result of the floods.
He lamented that this was not the first incident in which they were losing crops to the floods, adding that some time back, he lost a water pump that was washed away along with mature vegetables and maize.
West Ugenya chief Pius Mbago said that apart from Uyosi, other areas worst affected in his location were Lung’a and Mudondo areas in Sifuyo West Sub locations.
In Usonga location in Alego / Usonga constituency, local chief Augustine Omuya said over 50 homes in Nyadorera “A” and “B” sub locations have been submerged by the raging floods.
He said the locals started vacating their homes at midnight when the water started spilling into their houses.
Similar floods were also witnessed in South West Alego location where several homes in Uhuyi, Uchong’a and Uhere villages in Kabura / uhuyi sub location were submerged.
County director of meteorological services, Domnic Arodi told Kenya News Agency that the water levels rose to six metres by 7am this morning, one of the highest in recent times.
Arodi said that the flooding could have been due to the fact that this year’s long rains found a saturated ground which could not absorb more water hence high surface run off.
“Last year, we recorded a prolonged high rain season and this one came almost immediately while the ground still had a lot of water” he said adding that this has seen more water on the surface than finds its way into the rivers.
Siaya Deputy County Commissioner, Joseph Sawe confirmed the flooding, saying that teams have been sent to the ground to assess the damage.
Sawe said that no deaths have so far been reported though properties worth thousands have been lost.
The DCC called on those living in the affected areas to move to safe areas as the government and well-wishers were planning on emergency response measures.
By Philip Onyango

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