Some parts of Murang’a County may experience landslides during the shorts rains expected to kick off in October, the weatherman has warned.
Murang’a County Director of Meteorological Services Mr. Paul Murage said the county is expected to receive enhanced rains which may trigger landslides especially in upper parts of the county.
In a press briefing in his office today (Tuesday), the director advised residents who live in landslide prone areas to prepare to relocate to safer places to avoid disasters during the rains expected to last till the third week of December.
Upper parts of the county, Murage noted, will receive rainfall of more than 700 millimeters while the lower sides are expected to receive rains of about 400 millimeters.
In the past, the county has been affected by land- and mudslides displacing scores of residents.
During the long rains in 2018, about 564 families across the county were affected by landslides which left five people dead.
Scores of families were displaced after their houses were completely destroyed by the landslides which also paralyzed transport in some county roads.
Murage said that areas where land faults were witnessed at larger Mathioya and Kangema sub counties are most likely to be hit by either mud or landslides.
“Hilly areas in Murang’a have in the past been affected by landslides which have led to loss of lives and destruction of property. In the expected rains, there are possibilities that some areas may be affected,” noted Murage.
He advised the county disaster management committee to map areas which are most likely to be affected by the landslides and come up with measures to relocate residents to safer areas.
“The county disaster management committee in partnership with the geological department should map out landslide prone areas and identify possible relocation areas before the rains start,” said Murage.
Some of the families from Gitugi area which were affected by landslides in 2018 are still living in camps after their areas were reduced to gullies.
Efforts to get the families alternative new areas to settle are still going on as the government has been requested to hasten the process.
During the rains, Kiriaini-Kangema road was cut off by landslides at Kanjama area paralyzing transport along the route.
The destroyed section of the road is currently under re-construction after Kenya National Highways Authority released Sh 80 million for implementation of the project.
The director further warned that water borne diseases may affect areas which are likely to experience floods.
“Areas like Maragua, Kabati and Kenol are likely to experience floods thus causing outbreak of water borne diseases,” he added.
Meanwhile the weatherman asked Murang’a residents to take advantage of enhanced rains to plant trees.
Trees, he said, will help in conserving the environment by limiting soil erosion and mudslides.
“The rains will be of great benefit to farmers as coffee and tea production will be enhanced,” he further said.
By Bernard Munyao