Flooding cuts off Mandera towns from vital supplies

Sunday May 1 2016

Residents and goods transporters stranded on the banks of River Wawera, in Mandera County on May 1, 2016. Two towns in Mandera, Darweed and Takaba, have been cut off from vital supplies after the river flooded. PHOTO | KEN KIMANTHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Residents and goods transporters stranded on the banks of River Wawera, in Mandera County on May 1, 2016. Two towns in Mandera, Darweed and Takaba, have been cut off from vital supplies after the river flooded. PHOTO | KEN KIMANTHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MANASE OTSIALO
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By VIVIAN JEBET
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Darweed and Takaba towns in Mandera County have been cut off from vital supplies from Nairobi after River Warera burst its banks following heavy rains.

For three days, goods from as far as Nairobi, the main suppliers, have not been transported across the river.

“If we stay here longer than this then there will be a shortage of essential goods in many shops in Mandera Town since they are relying on these trucks for delivery,” said Mr Abdi Mohammed, a truck driver.

The drivers are blaming a ‘weak bridge’ they say the county government built.

“We have a Constituency Development Fund that could be used to build a bridge but nothing has happened as the problem continues affecting the locals,” said another frustrated driver, Mr Mohamed Issack.

Youths have taken advantage of the opportunity to charge local residents Sh200 to help them cross the flooded Warera River.

Seasonal rivers Lagsure in Mandera West and Gadudia in Mandera East have also burst their banks.

TRUCK SWEPT AWAY

In another incident, two people escaped unhurt after the truck they were travelling in was swept away by floods at Tongey Bridge at the Isiolo-Garissa border.

Kenya Red Cross Upper Eastern regional coordinator Talaso Chucha said the vehicle was heading to Wajir County when it was carried by the water on Saturday.

Most of the roads in Garbatulla and Merti sub-counties, Mr Chucha said, have been cut off by the heavy rains.

“The Meri-Barsa road is actually impassable after River Ewaso Ngiro burst its banks. Response teams have been dispatched around Isiolo County for any eventualities and emergencies,” the official said.

Garba-Tulla deputy county commissioner Kipchumba Rutto said: “For the last four days, residents from as far as Sericho, Kinna and Garbatulla have been stranded and they cannot access foodstuff and crucial services in Maua town.”

In Marsabit, Governor Ukur Yattani said most of the rural roads had been affected by the heavy rainfall.

In Isiolo North, roads in Oldonyiro, Merti and Cherab divisions are also impassable after night-long downpour.

The Ngare-Ndare Bridge connecting Isiolo and Oldonyiro town is weak and locals have been forced to travel to Nanyuki, Laikipia County to access services.

The flash floods have also swept away animals in GarbaTulla and Cherab wards.

Cherab MCA Hassan Kumpa said more than 500 died on Saturday morning and some families displaced.

In Merti, Deputy County Commissioner Julius Maiyo said roads have remained impassable for the last four days.