By H.E Evans Kidero
First and foremost my sincere condolences for the loss of lives and destruction of property that occurred in our beloved City as a consequence of the worst floods this year. I am deeply saddened by the scenes, pictures and videos of the aftermath of yesterday’s heavy rains. My prayers and thoughts are with all those who have been affected in one way or the other.
The steady rain that has been pounding the City for the last 3 days reached an all time high of 80mm against an expected normal rainfall of 12mm. The City is likely to continue receiving more than average rainfall. The City will be subjected to increased incidents of flooding on the roads, destruction of properties, public open spaces and flooding of rivers which result in traffic congestion, inconvenience to residents and sometimes injuries and fatalities.
The Nairobi City County Government will continue to mobilize resources to attenuate and mitigate the severity and impact of the floods. At the same time the County Government wishes to highlight some of the challenges hampering effective operation of the drainage system and flood control.
1. Encroachment and obstruction of riparian reserves, natural water courses and drainage wayleaves and denial of access to drainage outfalls.
2. Indiscriminate disposal of solid waste consisting of excavated soils, construction debris and garbage onto water courses, road reserves and sewerage system restricting the proper functioning of the system.
3. Unsupervised poorly constructed and undersized storm water drainage infrastructure.
4. Passage of water pipes, telecommunication cables and other services through drainage infrastructure.
5. Depleted seepage zone due increased urban roof and impervious ground cover not matched by increase in capacity of the drainages system
6. Blocking of drains for urban agricultural activities
7. Informal Settlements on low lying areas and flood plains.
8. Deposition of soil into wetlands and marshy areas which affects land drainage and the ecosystem.
9. Physical developments and have preceded development of supporting infrastructure such as roads and drainage.
10. Blockage caused by debris trapped by grills installed across drains.
11. Landscaping on frontages which hinders discharge of storm water into the drain.
Nairobi residents and members of the public are urged to co-operate with Nairobi City County and National Government officials and their agencies to facilitate works to improve the drainage system.
Furthermore, residents are urged to dispose their solid waste responsibly, as this poses the biggest challenge to drainage system. The Nairobi City County Government also advices that fees for minor domestic drainage clearing, improvement and maintenance works have been waived during this period. Where the scope of the works is large in magnitude and affect large areas, persons are encouraged to contact the County Government for technical advice and assistance.
The Nairobi City County Government urges all residents to take care of their frontages and ensure the drainage infrastructure is free of debris. Please oblige in order to make Nairobi a Better City with Better Life.
I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the emergency service personnel, army and volunters for their well coordinated response to this disaster. The loss suffered would have been far greater without the skill, dedication, compassion, and sacrifice of these emergency responders.