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Rain water from Ethiopia causes floods in Mandera

Tuesday October 8 2019

A flooded section of Takaba town in Mandera

A flooded section of Takaba in Mandera West on October 8, 2019 after a seasonal river originating from the Ethiopian highlands burst its banks following heavy rains in the neighbouring country. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MANASE OTSIALO
By MANASE OTSIALO
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The ongoing rains in Ethiopia are causing havoc in Mandera, a county that has only recorded near normal rainfall.

Residents of Takaba town in Mandera West are counting loses after Lagwarera, a seasonal river originating from the Ethiopian highlands, started flowing on Sunday.

Takaba Town MCA Bishar Maalim Abdullahi lamented the destruction caused by the flooded river that has burst her banks.

PEOPLE DISPLACED

“People along the seasonal river have been displaced, houses submerged and we are in the process of knowing how many people have been affected,” he said as he called for humanitarian support.

According to the MCA, parts of Takaba town are flooded due to the flooded river.

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“These are effects of the heavy downpour in the Ethiopian highlands since we are yet to receive enough rains locally to cause this kind of destruction,” he said.

Mandera West Deputy County Commissioner Kipkoech Labatt described the situation as disastrous.

“The situation is not good in Mandera West but we are hoping a reduction of downpour in Ethiopia will calm our situation,” he said.

VILLAGES CUT OFF

Mr Mohamed Maalim said flooding has caused a complete cut-off of Takaba from surrounding villages.

“We cannot access the local airstrip due floods; some villagers cannot come to Takaba town for shopping at the moment,” he said.

The flooded river has paralysed public transport between Takaba-Banisa and Mandera town.

“We are unable to proceed with our journey to Mandera after arriving here on Monday afternoon,” said Ms Ann Wangui by phone.

TRAVELLERS STRANDED

Buses and other public service vehicles plying the Mandera-Takaba route are parked on either side of the river until the situation improves.

“Our truck is stuck in Takaba with perishable goods which means we are headed for a huge lose,” said Mr Adan Mohamed, a businessman in Mandera town.

Mandera has only recorded near normal rainfall this season according the local meteorological office.

“A lot of water is going to waste when we have a county government that could have sought ways of harvesting all this since we receive little rainfall every season,” said Ms Halima Hillow, a local.

Other towns in Mandera affected by the flooding include Banisa and Kotulo in Mandera South.