Kenya

Lorries swept away as heavy rains hit Mt Kenya region

By NICHOLAS KOMU

By ALICE NDUTA

In Summary

  • In Mweiga, a driver escaped death narrowly after he was swept through a culvert when his lorry was swept away by floods.

  • More than 200 pupils from Furaha DEB Solio Primary School could not make it to school after a bridge collapsed.

  • According to Nyeri County Commissioner Onesmus Musyoki, rescue teams will be deployed to the disaster-prone areas.

  • The Nyeri County secretary, Alice Wachira said families were forced to move to higher grounds.

Three lorries were swept away as hundreds of pupils missed school after heavy rains pounded Mt Kenya region for two days.

Motorists feared roads would be damaged further after gabions were washed away.

The heavy rains, which began on Monday evening, damaged roads and left dozens of motorists stranded for the whole night.

Two bridges near Solio Ranch were completely submerged.

In Mweiga, Nyeri County, a driver escaped death narrowly after he was swept through a culvert when his lorry was swept away by floods.

He was rescued with minor injuries about 150 metres from the truck.

Barely 500 metres away, two other lorries were swept off road by the raging waters.

The trucks were transporting cabbages and milk to Nyeri from Nyandarua.

Police and locals assisted motorists throughout the night.

NARROW CULVERTS

Drivers blamed narrow culverts for the flooded roads.

“If the situation is not rectified soon, there is a disaster in waiting. The government should step in quickly,” said Mr Clement Mwangi, a local.

Residents also said that most of their farm produce had been damaged by the heavy rains.

According to Nyeri County Commissioner Onesmus Musyoki, rescue teams will be deployed to the disaster-prone areas.

The Nyeri County secretary, Alice Wachira said families were forced to move to higher grounds.

“We have mobilised relief items to help the families as we wait for the rains to subside”.

Ms Wachira added that drainage systems would be repaired to prevent the spread of disease.

She said that funds that were set for the El Niño rains have been distributed to respective departments.

STILL WAITING FOR EL NINO FUNDS

However, she said that the county was yet to receive the national government’s share of the El Niño fund.

More than 200 pupils from Furaha DEB Solio Primary School could not make it to school after a bridge collapsed.

According to Wilfred Mucheke, their headteacher, teachers were also cut off from the school.

“We usually have no river here but the rains formed one hence the teachers cannot make it to school. Some students did not attend classes too,” added Mr Mucheke.

According to Margaret Wangui, a parent of a student in the school, they helped Mr Mucheke and his deputy wade through the flooded road.

“Students from around had already arrived at school but the headteacher was stuck on the other side,” said Ms Wangui.

However, one of the parents complained that teachers were taking advantage of the rains.

“We have both deputy and headteacher in school today yet they use the same route as other teachers. Every time it rains you will notice there are no teachers here,” a concerned Mr Paul Mwangi said.

Mr Mwangi added that the headteacher should take administrative action on the teachers.