The government on Sunday warned Kenyans travelling during the Christmas and New Year festivities to exercise caution amid the ongoing heavy rainfall attributed to the El Nino phenomenon.
Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura, addressing a press conference in Nairobi, said that due to the floods, many roads have been washed out and visibility is poor on most Kenyan roads.
He cautioned motorists to avoid driving ahead of heavy downpours, when it is raining and immediately after rains to avoid the risk of flash floods.
“When it rains, flash floods are still eminent and it may not be safe to travel. At other times, the area is still under floods and a majority of the roads are impassable. Unless it is extremely necessary, it is advisable to keep off these roads altogether until such a time when they are fully restored,” Mwaura said.
Mwaura has advised that Kenyans should avoid driving when it is raining and especially when the visibility is less than 100 metres as this may compromise their safety.
“Night travel should be minimised as much as possible and ensure that you have your vehicle mechanically prepared well for the journey ahead, have with you the necessary survival kits, warm clothes, drinking water, hot food, phone and medication if necessary,” Mwaura said.
“If possible do not travel with children at this time. Further do not drive in or through rivers or in flooded areas, moving or stagnant waters. It is important that you take your time and wait for it to subside or turn around,” he added.
Similarly, travellers were urged to have necessary safety kits when travelling in case of rain-related emergencies and to ensure they are in communication with someone they can share travel updates.
“Do not drive in flooded areas, moving or standing waters. Wait for it to subside or turn around,” Mwaura added.
On Friday, Mwaura said that the number of Kenyans who have succumbed to the aftermath of the ongoing El Nino rains was 168 after three more persons died.
In Friday’s emergency response update, Mwaura said the three fatalities were reported in Tharaka Nithi, Nandi and Migori counties.
Mwaura said rains are expected to persist in southern parts of the country in the Lake Victoria Basin, Central Highlands, South Eastern Rift Valley the Coastal strip and Western Kenya between December 9 and 15.