Coast, Northeastern at risk of flooding

Coast and Northeastern are staring at flooding after the water levels of rivers Sabaki and Tana, as well as three dams, went up following heavy rains. Areas at risk include Garissa, Tana River, Kilifi, Kwale and Taita Taveta.

Reports indicate rivers Sabaki and Tana could burst their banks any time soon. Residents of Tana River and Garissa have been ordered to move to higher ground as Masinga, Kindaruma and Kiambere dams are full and may overflow in two days.

The Kenya Red Cross Society is already on high alert and on Friday dispatched teams to the ground to assess the situation and urge people to move to safe ground.

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has directed people living along river banks to move to higher ground. Speaking in Malindi during the launch of relief food distribution to Malindi and Magarini, he said residents should not wait for floods to sweep away their homes before they move.

“We have received reports that water levels are very high and the River Sabaki could burst its banks anytime. All those along river banks should move to higher ground immediately,” Kingi said.

He ordered ward and subcounty administrators together with nyumba kumi elders, village elders, chiefs and assistant chiefs to pass the message to all people.

“Previously such messages used to come late but we are lucky this time the reports came early so all those with animals, food and other property should move fast to ensure no losses are incurred when the disaster hits,” he said.

Kenya Red Cross regional manager in charge of Coast Hassan Musa said some farms in Tana River, such as Golbanti, have already been flooded. He said Bate, a flood-prone area in Kilifi, is almost being flooded.

“What we have done as Kenya Red Cross in partnership with the county governments of Kilifi and Tana River is to [collect] non-food items.

We are already preparing the water treatment plant to ensure victims get clean water as soon as the disaster hits,” Musa said.