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10 killed by floods in Nairobi as Kidero seeks drainage funds

Ten people died on Monday following a heavy downpour in Nairobi as City Hall looks at Qatar for funds to fix the ageing drainage system that has been overwhelmed by the ongoing rains.

Eight people died when a mosque’s perimeter wall gave way after the persistent pounding, collapsing on shanties in Fuata Nyayo in South B estate.

The two other victims were swept away by floods in Dagoretti and along Jogoo Road.

On Sunday, Governor Evans Kidero flew to Qatar for the Doha Forum where he is seeking funding to upgrade the drainage system.

“Evans Kidero left for Doha, Qatar yesterday to seek assistance from the Qatar government to repair the city’s 50-year-old drainage system whose capacity has been outweighed by the current population,” his office said in a statement.

HEAVY DOWNPOUR

Over the past month, heavy rains have led to flooding on roads, creating navigation difficulties for motorists.

The Monday rains, the second heavy downpour in three weeks, left sections of Thika highway, Jogoo Road and Kileleshwa flooded.

City Hall said that in the short-term it would unclog the blocked drainage systems as it looks for funds to overhaul the system.

Several studies have attributed the flooding in Nairobi to City Hall’s failure to allocate funds to improve the drainage system over the years even as construction of buildings continued.

Road developments have also failed to provide for drainage while some buildings have been built along riparian reserves.

The studies point out that Nairobi is likely to flood every two years due to lack of adequate surface and sub-surface drainage systems.

Last month, City Hall said it was planning to allocate funds in the next budget to improve drainage in the most flood-prone areas of Nairobi. These include South C, Nairobi West, Eastleigh and Pipeline.

Transport and Infrastructure executive Mohamed Abdullahi did not disclose how much of the Sh7.2 billion that his sector is projected to receive will be allocated to the storm drainage works.

OVERHAUL SYSTEM

“We’ll try and do projects in the most affected areas, but eventually what is needed is an overhaul of the entire system,” he said.

Mr Abdullahi said that the system is overwhelmed due to low capacity as well as blockages caused by dumping of solid waste in the drainage systems.

In Nairobi, storm water is collected through both natural and man-made drainage systems and is drained into the Nairobi River system comprising the Gitathuru, Ruaraka, Nairobi and Ngong rivers.

County officials also said that flooding in slums had accelerated the spread of cholera which has so far killed seven people in the city.

According to the county chief officer for health, Dr Robert Ayisi, 135 cases of the disease have been reported in the country and 44 have been confirmed.

Source: Business Daily