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Tea farms destroyed as rains leave trail of destruction in Murang’a

Several farmers

Part of a tea farm in Murarandia Division of Murang’a County destroyed by a landslide. Photo by Bernard Munyao/KNA.

in Murang’a County are counting losses after their tea farms were destroyed by landslide occasioned by heavy downpour.

In  Murarandia Division of Kahuro Sub County, more than 2, 000 bushes of tea were last night swept away by landslide. The 3am incident affected several farms with the bushes being swept to River Muriuriu leaving behind a huge dangerous gully.

Residents said that they heard a huge bang a few hours to morning, something which made them to wake up only to find part of their farms were swept away by a landslide. David Macharia, a local resident said they were scared and were forced to move from their homes to safer areas.

“More than four farms were destroyed by the landslide as tea bushes were swept away to a nearby river. We are living in fear as the area looks dangerous and another landslide may strike,” remarked Macharia.

Area  Assistant County Commissioner, Patrick  Wasonga  noted that the area is not safe and cautioned residents from moving near where the landslide occurred.

Wasonga said the County security team was on the ground to assess the area and give appropriate advice to locals so as to avoid being caught up by disaster.

“We are monitoring the area and mapping out risky areas as we advise people to move to safe areas until rains in this region subsidize,” added the administrator.

He warned people who lived down stream of River Muriuriu to be on the lookout as the landslide debris had blocked flow of the river and if the water found its way out, it may cause more destruction.

Speaking  on  Wednesday to KNA on phone, the Murang’a County Meteorological Director, Paul  Murage said most parts of the upper zones of Murang’a have received more than 1, 000 millimeters of rains since last month and with the soils in the region being completely saturated, anything small may trigger a landslide.

He said the rains would continue in many parts of the county and cautioned residents who lived in landslide prone areas to move to safer areas.

From last month, several areas in the county experienced landslides leaving trails of property destructions. Mathioya Sub County has been worst hit by landslide during the ongoing rains as tea farmers, houses and a school have been affected by the landslides.

Some roads have also been blocked by landslide debris paralyzing transport as vehicles were forced to use alternative routes.

By  Bernard Munyao

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