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Kisumu spearheads desilting program to curb flooding 

The displaced residents and homeowners affected by a recent heavy flooding along River Wigwa in Kisumu’s Nyalenda estate have received a major safety boost following the desilting program, being spearheaded by the County government.

The County Executive for Water, Environment and Natural Resources Salmon Orimba, said that the works on River Wigwa and its streams is meant to remove sediments that has collected in the river and are impeding natural water flow.

To further safeguard the residents in Kapuothe, Nanga and Dunga areas, Orimba revealed that the desiltation program is one of the measures initiated by the County Government to curb heavy flooding and displacement.

As tonnes of waste was being evacuated during the desilting exercise, Orimba pointed out that failure to open the waterways may lead to major damages, loss of homes and businesses.

“Desilting will continue in Nyalenda, and we also purpose to carry it out in Nyando, Nyakach and Kolwa East areas prone to flooding,” Orimba reassured.

Eng. Reginald Olang of County Publics Works Department also informed that River Wigwa being on the lower area mostly receives its silts from upstream.

“The essence of flooding around River Wigwa and Kapuothe area comes as a result of the volume of water coming upstream, and upon reaching down its finds high bed of siltation which causes an overflow in the area,” Olang said, adding that the desilting should be done on a regular basis to help the community have leverage during the rainy season.

Senior Chief Otieno Kabisai of West Kolwa, Kisumu East Sub-County confirmed that no casualties were reported during the Sunday night havoc.

“Due to the recent heavy downpours witnessed in the area, Rivers Auji, Kibos and Nyamasaria continue to overflow and break their banks, thus displacing many families, and destroying farms,” Kabisai said.

John Ojwang, a resident of Nyalenda B applauded the swift action by the County Government as they hope for a long -lasting solution to avert future displacements within Nyalenda Community.

Attesting to this, Francis Otoyo, a resident of Kasagam-Nanga called upon the County Government to expand the narrow bridge near St John’s Church in Nyalenda A to ease quick flow of the river.

Kisumu Central Member of Parliament Dr. Joshua Oron distributed foodstuffs to affected families.

“My administration in partnership with all relevant stakeholders will seek to provide a long-lasting solution for the residents of Kapuothe Nyalenda B,” Dr. Oron said when he visited the residents.

The Orimba-led team and the Acting Director of Special Programmes and Disaster Management Atieno Otieno also inspected River Nyando, streams and channels around it in a bid to identify blockages around them.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department, due to the changing weather patterns, has advised several displaced families staying near the river banks on the urgent need to move to higher grounds to save lives and property.

By Rolex Omondi

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