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One dead, five injured as heavy rains wreak havoc in Teso

A heavy downpour on Tuesday evening has left one person dead and at least five others injured in Teso North Sub County.

The rain also rendered over 35 families in the Osia and Papai areas destitute after their houses were brought down.

Electricity transmission lines were also destroyed by the storm, an occurrence that left parts of Ang’urai North Ward in a blackout.

Destroyed houses and trees in Teso North sub county following the ongoing heavy downpour in the area. Photo by Absalom Namwalo

Kakurikit Senior Chief Julius Ekirapa, confirming the incident, said 72-year-old Pelesta Akumu succumbed after her house collapsed on her in the downpour.

The same sentiments were echoed by DCC Teso North Stephen Wambura as he called for urgent interventions from the national disaster department and humanitarian organizations.

“For now, I can confirm one person died. There are five others who have been hospitalised, and the destruction on people’s farms is abnormal,” said Wambura.

Those hospitalised at the Ang’urai Health Centre are a woman and her two children. Two others are at Kocholia Referral Hospital.

The Osia-Kakurikit-Katotoi road was partially blocked as heavy winds brought down trees that blocked the road that links Kenya to Uganda via an undesignated border point.

Farmers and businessmen are counting massive losses after several shops and farm produce that were planted were completely destroyed.

“We are counting losses as crops, mostly bananas, tobacco, avocado trees, and some livestock, were destroyed in Katotoi, Kakurikit, Osia, Kaejo, and Kasinge areas,” said Stephen Karani, one of the affected residents from Osia.

Residents are now appealing to the national and county governments to come to their rescue, particularly those whose houses were destroyed completely and who have no alternative place to live at the moment.

Angurai North MCA Issac Wamalwa noted that this is the first time Angurai ward has experienced rainfall with that kind of magnitude of destruction that has left residents counting losses of property and life.

The incident comes barely one day after a windstorm destroyed six classrooms at Dadira primary school in Butula sub-county.

Early this month, over 40 houses were destroyed in Nambale and five houses in Funyula, bringing the total number of houses destroyed in Busia County to 85 houses within one month.

Tuesday’s occurrence came two days after President William Ruto said the country will not experience El Nino rains as earlier predicted by the Kenya Meteorological Department.

The Met Department had warned that El Nino would hit the country from mid-October to December.

Teso North Constituency Manager Richard Opangala has warned the government not to underestimate the impact of the ongoing rainfall in Busia County, adding that several families have already been affected yet there has been little intervention from the disaster committee.

He has, however, clarified that the rains will be significant and precautions must be taken in Busia County.

By Absalom Namwalo

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