One Man Hospitalised, Millions Lost In Night Of Heavy Downfall In Thika Road.



A dangerous rainstorm that drenched Ruiru and Nairobi areas last evening brought misery to many residents, forcing tens of affected families to relocate and several roads rendered impassible because of floodwaters.

An 80 year-old man is currently nursing injuries at Gatundu Level 4 Hospital after a wall collapsed on his makeshift house, following the heavy rains that left a trail of destruction.

The wall, belonging to the Kimbo G.S.U. camp, Toll, fell at around 11pm Saturday when what is suspected to be a dam within the camp burst and brought it down the wall, swept away all his belongings, including those of the neighbouring residential houses.

According to eyewitnesses, the devastating floods from within the camp overwhelmed their wall which collapsed on several makeshift kiosks that were along the road.

“We have never seen such a powerful storm in this area. There was a lot of flood water. This wall collapsed at around 11pm. Luckily, there were a few people still around when the wall fell on his shed. We rushed to save him and was taken to the Gatundu hospital,” said one resident.

The rains also left more than one hundred 100 residents affected with property worth millions lost. Majority of the families living next to the camp spent their night in the cold, with those residing in nearby flats trapped in their houses for more than 8 hours as the flood waters took time to subside.

The owner of one the affected residential plots, speaking amidst sobs, lamented great losses adding that tenants had started to relocate to other buildings within the area. Describing the damage as overwhelming, she pleaded with the neighbouring families to assist in providing shelter for those who were unable to secure a place to relocate.
  
“We were told that the water came from G.S.U. This water flooded in all these houses and none of my tenants slept here. They are now relocating to other building because the place is inhabitable,” said the landlady.

She said that fellow developers were partly to blame since majority of them had erected buildings and perimeter walls on the water pathways. Kiambu County Government was also blamed of laxity since it was its responsibility to ensure that all building and construction regulations were adhered to during such developments.

Some residents who spoke to Thika Town Today said pupils in a nearby Kindergarten have been left without a place of learning because the school had completely been sub-merged in the water. They also complained that some people who rushed to help salvage the property turned out to be looters.

“It’s devastating. My house and properties were left in shatters. I have nowhere to go,” said a shocked victim.

The proprietor, Spleng School & Kindergarten Madam Margaret, was left counting losses after equipment and stationary were destroyed in the water.

“It is a very sad situation and very alarming. Our computer lab was full of water that destroyed our computers and stationary. We are counting millions of shillings loss here. We cannot also have the children in school for the next one week,” said Margaret.

At the time of this interview, Murera ward MCA George Kioi was said to have rushed to Limuru seeking services of an excavator.

We witnessed some residents digging up trenches to direct water away as a temporary solution before the County Government of Kiambu, through their MCA Mr. Kioi, came up with a permanent solution to the flooding menace.

The situation was similar within Ruiru Town especially people and businesses opposite the Prisons Training College which were submerged in about 2-feet deep flood water.

Commuters and other motorists on the busy Thika Superhighway, Ruiru and Nairobi Region found themselves stuck in traffic following the heavy downpour that was accompanied by frightening lightning and thunderstorms at around 5:30pm and lasted for over six hours. It led to flooding on major roads, especially within Ruiru Town, affecting traffic flow till very late in the night. Some sections of these roads were temporarily submerged making them impassable for the better part of Sunday morning.

Last September, the government set aside Sh5 billion from the National Treasury’s Contingency Fund and put on standby 70,000 National Youth Service members in readiness for the destructive El Nino rains that were then expected from October. Interior and National Coordination Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery would coordinate the plan, although each ministry was expected to play a role to ensure effective response.

At the time, Kiambu County through its Water executive Esther Njuguna, sought Sh600 million from the national government to counter the effects of El Niño. She said that the county had formed a preparedness team from departments of health, education, agriculture, environment, roads, public works and disaster management and the team had already met in Thika to come up with strategies to minimise the impact.

The National Disaster Operations Centre, which is tasked with responding to the damage caused by El Niño rains, later in December accused the governors of misleading the public saying that counties were supposed to budget for the rains, with the national government only catering for any deficit. This they said, must be made through a formal request.
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