Days after the government issued a warning about the likelihood of El Niño rainfall that is expected to pound Kenya from October likely bringing flooding, and landslides, residents of flood-prone Mwana Mukia village in Ruiru, Kiambu County are living in fear of displacement during the rains.
The locals who have been dreading the rainy season for nine years as it results in destructive floods took issue with the government for undertaking zero contingency measures to contain the situation over the years.
Apprehensive about their safety, the furious locals accused the government of putting up small and ineffective culverts that sluggishly allow for passage of flash floods, a situation that makes it easy for water to break banks causing floods at their homes.
Whenever it rains, the agitated residents decried that most of them are forced to relocate to safer grounds, a challenge they said started during the construction of Thika superhighway when the contractor reportedly diverted water from its normal course and directed it into the populous estate.
Led by John Macharia Maina, a Nyumba Kumi official from the village, the locals regretted that despite their numerous efforts to find answers to their long-standing predicament, nothing has been done to make the village seasonably habitable.
While narrating a heart-wrenching story of how they unsuccessfully try to block rainy water every time it rains, Jane Wanjiku, another local who settled at the village in 1977 decried that the flashfloods have been causing waterborne diseases and outbreaks singling out diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid fever among others.
David Njuguna, a resident blamed the topography of the area and its poor drainage system from the households for having contributed to the frequent flooding during rainy seasons.
He called on the relevant government agencies to undertake their mandate seriously by helping them out of the ‘deadly’ mess to enable them to go about their businesses without fear.
When he toured the area, Ruiru MP Simon King’ara acknowledged that the situation is dire and requires prompt interventions by the government.
Due to the sloopy state of the village, the MP revealed that all the harvested water from Thika Superhighway is directed at the village.
While blaming Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) for the mess, the MP urged the authority to urgently embark on offering locals lasting solutions to the challenge.