Nairobi sets aside Sh194m to deal with flooding
By COLLINS OMULO
By BRIAN OKINDA
City Hall together with the Directorate of Urban and Nairobi Metropolitan Development have set aside Sh194 million to address the flooding menace in the county and avert similar incidences in future.
This development comes in the wake of a warning issued by the Meteorological Department for residents to brace themselves for heavy rains.
Roads and Infrastructure Executive Mohamed Dagane said Sh32 million will be used to improve the drainage system in the county and put up measures to mitigate the effects of the heavy rains.
He said the county government has been mapping specific flood-prone areas identified over the years in the capital and it has come up with a comprehensive programme to address flash floods.
City Hall and the National Government will embark on the construction of major outfalls and rehabilitation of the existing drainage systems across the city.
Catherine Ndereba Road, Lang’ata South Road, Kayole Spine Road, Popo Road, Mai Mahiu Road, Kawangware box culverts along Macharia Road, Kawangware 46-Muslim Primary School Road, and Jonathan Ng’eno Road drainages, among others, have been earmarked for this development.
“Every rainy season, the County Government has been mapping specific flood-prone areas identified over the years.
“To mitigate impacts of flooding, it has developed a detailed programme to address floods,” said Mr Dagane.
He added that as a short-term measure, the county has set aside an emergency fund, which will take the bulk of the Sh194 million, to deal with emerging issues arising from the heavy rain.
The fund will be spent on hiring casuals and equipment to deal with flooding, and developing a programme for engagement of youth on casual basis to respond to emergency issues.
“Authority has been granted based on the budget and process of hiring has commenced and will be in place shortly,” he said.
Mr Dagane said the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company has increased surveillance and enhanced its response to blocked sewer lines while City Hall has deployed its in-house team to open up drains along roads to avert floods.
“We have hired labour and equipment to supplement in-house capacity in drainage maintenance.
“The county has also been clearing solid waste in all sub-counties, which has been a contributing factor to flooding,” said Mr Dagane.
The county executive added that City Hall would also undertake a study on drainage in Zimmerman, Marurui, Runda, Ridgeways, Garden Estate and Muthaiga North estates.
It plans to develop improved drainage designs.
The county will also improve drainage infrastructure at Uhuru Park, Jonathan Ng’eno Estate, Karen Plains, Mathare, Serengeti Avenue, Lakeview Estate, Githurai Rurie and Seminary Road.
Others are Vanga Road/Hendred Avenue/Korosho Road, Chalbi Drive, Muhia Road and at Kongoni Primary School.
Chief security enforcement officer Tito Kilonzi said many drainages in the county block due to encroachment on road reserves and drainage ways and indiscriminate dumping of solid waste.
“We will not leave and let any illegal structures compromise the safety and well-being of our residents so those who own them should be ready for their demolition,” said Mr Kilonzi.
He warned Nairobi residents to be wary of hotspots for flash floods.
Mr Kilonzi cited Nairobi CBD, Donholm, Githurai, Kahawa West, Karen, Kawangware, Kayole, Kibra, Lang’ata, Mathare, Njiru, Pioneer Estate, Ridgeways, Ruai, Runda, South B, South C, Thome, Umoja and Zimmerman.
The county has also launched 20 hotline telephone numbers where residents will report any kind of flood-related emergencies for quick action.
The hotline numbers will be manned by a team of experts on a 24-hour basis.
It also has emergency vehicles, ambulances, fire engines and a disaster management and response team.
“With our launched hotline numbers, we expect to beef up our communication systems for assistance on any eventualities on flooding as there will be teams working round the clock to offer any assistance,” Mr Dagane said.
He added that each sub-county has been allocated a hotline number, an emergency vehicle, an ambulance and a team of operatives.