By Kenn Okaka
From Mombasa to Kisumu, Ongata Rongai to Samburu and Turkana, Kenyans are everyday living in fear of floods as the El-nino rains continue to reck havoc in areas across the country.
People have died, vehicles, houses and livestock washed away; families rendered homeless and roads impassable as heavy rains continue to pour.
This, despite an early alert by the meteorological department that warned Kenyans to prepare for expected floods calling on the national and county governments to put in place mitigation measures to avoid floods.
However, in a sharp contrast, Nairobi County has been free from flooding for the first time in as many years even as heavy volumes of rain pounder the capital city.
The Nairobi City County government under the leadership of Governor Johnson Sakaja this time round got it right in putting in place mitigation measures to avert flooding in the country’s capital.
Upon the alert by the meteorological department, the Sakaja administration put in place mitigation measures by employing over 3,500 youths who have been deployed in different parts of Nairobi to clean up drainage channels and unclog places which historically have been flood prone.
Streets have been cleaned up, garbage collected and drainages unclogged which has allowed a free flow of water avoiding flooding in any part of the county.
In years gone by, the bridge at Kariokor roundabout was a floods hotspot as has always been the areas of South C, South B and many areas in the expansive Eastlands area but not any longer. The Sakaja administration, working on the mantra of making Nairobi work has ensured that Nairobi does not add to the statistics of areas experiencing floods even as the heavens continue to open.
Under Sakaja, Nairobi has not experienced floods neither have roads been washed out. Pot holes that sink in roads upon heavy downpours are no where to be seen; this after the Sakaja administration, through the Works and Mobility sector embarked on a mission to rehabilitate the county roads network in the central business district and in the estates with a particular emphasis on proper drainage. The road and drainage on Lumumba drive in Roysambu, Joseph Kang’ethe in Kibra, Pipeline in Embakasi East and hundreds of other roads have been rehabilitated allowing rain water to flow.
This are some of the development projects and right steps being undertaken in Nairobi which few people care to talk about. All this, even as other parts of the country continue to experience devastating destruction of roads with some been completely washed away.
The County Executive Committee member for Works and Mobility Brian Mulama has promised Nairobi residents that his department is committed to ensuring that road networks are maintained and drainage well cleaned to avoid clogging. Noting that clogging of drainage trenches is often caused by plastic waste that is washed down during rains, Mulama has said that the clean up exercises will continue to ensure no area of Nairobi experiences flooding.
Kenn Okaka is Media and Communications Expert.