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Tea farmers in Murang’a stare at losses after landslide

Tuesday December 3 2019

Landslide in Murang'a

A section of tea farms in Githambo village in Murang’a County where a landslide swept away bushes on December 3, 2019. About 15 families have been urged to relocate as their homes risk being hit by a landslide. PHOTO | NDUNG’U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NDUNG’U GACHANE
By NDUNG’U GACHANE
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About 2,000 tea bushes have been swept away following a landslide in Githambo village, Kiharu Constituency in Murang’a County.

About five families have been affected.

Residents Tuesday said they heard a loud bang at around 2am with trees and tea bushes being swept away by the landslide.

A tea farm and trees belonging to Mr Stephen Kabuthia were swept away, with his home and a nearby school being left in a precarious situation.

COUNTING LOSSES

“We are counting losses since we depend on the tea to feed our families. The trees which we sell to compliment the tea business and the napier grass for our cows have also been affected,” Mr Kabuthia said.

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Assistant County Commissioner Patrick Wasomga said about 12 homes and a school near where the landslide occurred are also at risk of being swept away.

He said the sub-county disaster committee will be sitting to deliberate on the way forward.

CORDONED OFF

“We have about 12 homes and a school which are near the scene where the landslide occurred. We have cordoned off the area and marked it as a dangerous one and the sub-county disaster committee will be sitting the give the way forward because the occupants will have to vacate the area for their safety,” Mr Wasonga said.

Last year, two people died in the neighbouring Inoi village after his house caved in following a landslide. Scores of other victims had to seek shelter from their neighbours.

Other areas affected by the ongoing rains are Gitugi, Kairo, Mioro and Kiambuthia Secondary School, which have been classified by the Meteorological Department as prone to landslides.

HIGH RAINFALL

Data from the weatherman indicates that all gorges in Murang’a upper zones have reordered more than 1,000mm of rainfall, with soil being saturated, making the areas prone to landslides.

The data also showed that on Tuesday, Ndakaini in Gatanga received 54mm of rain, Kimakia (44mm) Gatare in Kigumo (95 mm) while Kangema received 58mm.

County Director of Meteorology Paul Murage said there have been no deaths reported in Murang’a due to the landslides.

“Our team assisted by the media has continued to create awareness among our people and this has really assisted in saving lives,” he said.

But he said most of the victims have suffered economically.

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