Kiambu County Government has started unclogging and clearing drainage systems in preparation for the impending El Nino weather phenomenon.
In August, the Kenya Meteorological Department forecasted that the country is likely to experience El Nino rainfall between October and December 2023.
“I want to assure the entire county population that we are committed to doing our level best to mitigate and manage any eventuality that may arise,” said Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi during an inspection tour of ongoing drainage works in Kiuu Ward.
The Governor stated that through the County Department of Water, Environment, and Natural Resources, the county government has identified and mapped out all flood-prone hotspots within the county and has already put in motion mitigation measures to mitigate the adverse effects of the expected torrential rains.
“Adequate tools and equipment necessary for unclogging and clearing drains have been mobilised, and unclogging of drainage systems has commenced in every sub-county to the ward level,” remarked Wamatangi.
He further said emergency funds have been allocated to ensure the availability of all the necessary resources required for the exercise.
“I am calling upon our unemployed youth in all our wards to register for this job as I have initiated the hiring of casual labourers to assist in clearing drainages since our time is limited as we are already in the month of October,” the governor added.
On his part, Kiambu Water, Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources CECM David Kuria urged Kiambu residents to stay informed about the weather forecast, monitor the weather forecast, and be aware of the risks of flooding and landslides.
“As we clear and open up the drainage system, we implore the citizens to desist from illegal dumping and clear structures built on drainage and sewer lines or in areas that are prone to flooding and landslides,” said Kuria.
El Nino is defined as a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean during which the east winds blow weaker than normal. Its effects can influence weather patterns worldwide, resulting in heavy rainfall in Kenya and other parts of the world.
El Nino occurs on average every two to seven years, and episodes typically last nine to 12 months. Kenya last experienced El Nino rains between 2015 and 2016.
By Grace Naishoo