Thousands of residents in Athi River displaced by floods

Counties Editor's Pick Machakos Tragedy

Over 2,000 residents in Athi River Sub County have been displaced by floods after River Athi burst its banks on Wednesday morning following heavy rains on Tuesday night.

The affected residents were left counting losses amounting to millions of shillings after flooding waters submerged their homes damaging properties.

Kwa Mangeli, Kwa Nzomo, Kinanie, Kyelenzi, 39, Kisumu Ndogo and Graceland Estate were the areas hardest it by the floods according to Machakos County Commissioner Josephine Ouko.

Ouko told KNA that the 2,000 residents who were rendered homeless have been taken to two rescue centers in Kinanie and Athi River.

“It has been a long day trying to evacuate them, we have managed to settle them at the rescue centers and they have been given food and non-food items,” she added.

One of the affected residents from Graceland Rhodes Araba said they woke up to flooded waters in the estate.

Araba said hapless residents panicked after the water broke the perimeter walls and made its way to the houses.

“People started screaming for help as the water levels kept on rising,” he said.

Araba said he tried to get out of the house with his wife and five children but the ground floor and their cars were already submerged in water making it impossible to escape.

“We grabbed our children and ran upstairs and called for help,” said the resident.

Alice Wahome, also a resident at Graceland estate, said the water started flowing in their houses at around 7am.

Wahome said she sought refuge on the roof together with her children until they were evacuated by the county multi-agency rescue team.

“Almost everything had been submerged including our vehicles, we could not leave the estate,” she added.

She disclosed that over 150 people were marooned in their houses by the ravaging waters.

The Chairman of Community Policing in Mavoko Samson Kamwathi and a resident of Kwa Mangeli village said he was forced to blow a whistle to alert residents to run for safety after he got a report that ravaging waters flowing at high speed was headed to the village at around 6am.

Kamwathi said the whole village was submerged rendering hundreds of residents homeless.

“We are devastated, we have lost everything and we are asking the National and County Governments to help us,” pleaded the chairman.

Another resident Irene Nthenya is also counting huge losses after her house and farm were washed away by the floods.

Nthenya said she didn’t salvage anything in the early morning incident.

“I was relying on the farm to feed and educate my children. My children are hungry, have nothing to wear and no mattresses to sleep on,” she said.

The resident called on well-wishers to help them rebuild their lives.

By Anne Kangero

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