The government has deployed National Youth Service recruits to desilt River Nyando and other seasonal rivers and streams in Kisumu County to mitigate against floods as rains intensify in the area.
The move targets to complement efforts by the county government’s special programs team, which is also on the ground to unlock the drainage system and trenches constructed in the flood-prone Nyando Sub-County.
Kisumu County Commissioner (CC) Hussein Alassow Hussein said according to the weatherman, the rainfall is expected to intensify in November increasing the chances of floods in the area.
The County Disaster Preparedness and Management Committee which is chaired by the County Commissioner and the Governor, he said has already mapped out all the hotspots adding that measures have been put in place to contain the floods.
“Already we have started to experience a backflow from Lake Victoria but our teams are on the ground to monitor the situation,” he said.
Speaking at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Grounds in Kisumu during Mashujaa Day celebrations, Hussein asked all the people living along the banks of River Nyando and other flood-prone areas to move to higher grounds to avoid being marooned.
“We have done what we can but we want you to move from these areas to higher grounds to avoid being caught up in floods,” he said.
Speaking during the same occasion, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o called for humanitarian assistance to assist thousands of people in flood-prone areas who are bound to be affected as the rains continue.
Nyong’o said even though the national government has done a lot to mitigate floods in the area, a lot more needs to be done to avert the loss of lives and property as a result of floods.
Evacuation centers in the Kano plains, he said, were not adequate to accommodate the affected population calling on partners and well-wishers to chip in to enable those affected to find alternative shelter.
“We have done our best but as a county government, we are limited by resources. That is why we want all the affected people to also play their part by relocating from these areas,” he said.
As a long-term measure, Nyong’o asked the national government to fast-track the construction of the Koru-Soin dam to curb the perennial floods.
The project located on the border of Kisumu and Kericho counties, he said will not only act as a holding ground for water upstream to prevent floods in Nyando but also provide water for irrigation and domestic use.