Traders in Kisumu are counting losses after a heavy downpour hit the lakeside city last Monday evening.
The traders who operate in the markets across the town said the unexpected downpour left in its wake a deluge that caught them unawares destroying their properties after the runoff water overwhelmed the poor drainage system in the town.
Majority of the vendors who said they were marooned in their shops including at the bustling bus stage and Jubilee market blamed their unforeseen losses on poor drainage network in the town.
Following the incident, a lobby group, Magnum Environmental Network is now calling on the city management to expedite the town’s planned upgrade that was launched nearly five years ago but is yet to be implemented.
“Our traders are suffering due to failure by the county government and city management to effectively implement an initiative that was funded way back in 2014,” lamented Michael Nyanguti, Magnum Chairman adding that county government should also compensate those who lost their property due to the flooding.
The initiative, Kisumu Urban Project (KUP) is funded by the French government to the tune of Euros 40 million (Sh4.8 billion) and sought to open up the city’s infrastructure.
Part of the works included improving roads and walking paths, upgrading slums and three major markets in Kisumu as well as opening up the drainages among other social amenity projects.
The project however suffered stiff opposition from some quarters with some individuals going to court but the implementation has now started.
By Milton Onyango