Hundreds of commuters were stranded Thursday after heavy rain swept away a section of the Ahero-Kisii highway.
The problem was caused by poor drainage due to the ongoing construction of a bridge at Ayweyo Centre in Nyando Sub-county, Kisumu County, leading to a traffic jam.
According to a local resident, Mr Dan Ngage, the stretch from Ahero junction to Katito has only two culverts instead of the recommended 27 water channels.
The Kenya National Highways Authority urged motorists to use the Ahero-Awasi-Katito, Kericho-Kisii or Kapsoit to Sondu roads to avoid being inconvenienced.
But a number of passengers who spoke to the Nation said they were not prepared to use the alternative routes because it would cost them more.
Meanwhile, more than 100 households in the locality have also been displaced by the raging waters of the River Nyalbiego and were evacuated to the nearby St Christopher’s RC Primary School.
This is the second time in about two weeks that the river has burst its banks, marooned houses and destroyed the locals’ property.
Kisumu County Commissioner Susan Waweru who rushed to the scene, said the floods have also affected people in Sango Rota in Nyakach Sub-county.
“This is posing a challenge to the government since we are trying to ensure that people do not crowd to control the spread of coronavirus pandemic,” she told the Nation.
She indicated that a multi-agency team comprising officials from both the county and national governments had been formed to guarantee the residents’ safety.
“Although as we might be forced to evacuate the affected people to higher grounds and in surrounding schools, we will ensure that they do not exceed five people per class as a way of maintaining social distancing,” she added.
Onjiko-Awasi MCA Maurice Ngeta raised concerns that half the members of his ward were affected and appealed for an urgent solution to save the residents’ lives and property.
“We don’t want to experience a recurrence of this. We call on the respective arms of government to take the necessary measures to resolve this problem once and for all,” Mr Ngeta said.