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Lamu residents hit by flooding as River Lagwarera bursts its banks

Friday October 18 2019

River Lagwarera

Pedestrians using the Hindi-Kiunga road stranded at Majengo area after a bridge was washed away after River Lagwarera burst its banks. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KALUME KAZUNGU
By KALUME KAZUNGU
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More than 1000 residents, including school-going children and security agencies, in villages in Boni Forest have been affected by floods after River Lagwarera burst its banks.

The seasonal river, which originates from the Ethiopian highlands, burst its banks early this month.

Since Wednesday, residents of Bodhei, Mangai, Milimani, Mararani and Bar’goni villages, were left stranded after water flooded some parts of the Hindi-Kiunga road and washed away several bridges.

The flooding paralysed transport activities in the area.

Truck drivers transporting goods from various places to Lamu East and as far as Usalama Camp where the boarder wall separating Kenya and Somalia is being constructed have been forced to stay at Bodhei Junction and Mokowe jown as they wait for the flood water to subside.

EFFECTS

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Farmers in the affected villages are as well counting losses after their crops were swept away by the ravaging floods.

Three rivers: Mangai, Majengo and Milimani also burst their banks causing more havoc in the area.

Speaking to journalists at Bodhei Junction, Basuba Ward area MCA Barissa Deko pleaded with the national government and well-wishers to quickly intervene and bring humanitarian support to residents in the affected villages.

By Thursday, four sections of the main 250-kilometre Hindi-Kiunga road had been cut-off following the floods caused by overflowing of the Ethiopian river.

The road has since been rendered impassable.

At the Bodhei-Ijara road, a bridge has been washed away by the floods.

CHOPPER RIDE

More than 200 pupils at Ijara School about 4 kilometres from Bodhei, are reported to have missed school for the past three days as they are forced to wait until the floods abate before they can finally get back to their learning.

Mrs Amina Abdi, a parent appealed to the government to find ways of ensuring their children attend school since some of them are KCPE candidates.

 “Our school children are unable to attend classes due to the floods here. We’ve class 8 candidates waiting for KCPE. The government should come up with an alternative way of ensuring our children attend classes even if it will mean carrying them in a chopper to their respective schools. We fear they might miss out on national examinations,” said Mrs Abdi.

NO FOOD SUPPLY

The flooding has made it impossible for vehicles to bring in food supplies into the villages, sparking fears of starvation.

Mr Guyo, a resident, urged the government and well-wishers to consider bringing food aid using other transport alternatives.

“Since Wednesday when we started witnessing the floods, trucks that used to ferry food supplies have completely kept away. The road has been rendered impassable by the floods. That means even the small food kiosks being run by locals here will soon be closed down for failing to get stock. Stockists are afraid of venturing into our villages to sell wares to the available kiosks. We’re now left to our own fate. We need urgent help. The government should consider using choppers to deliver food aid to us,” said Mr Guyo.