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Transport, business halted as severe flooding hits Turkana

Saturday October 19 2019

Turkana floods

A section of the road that leads to Moi Gardens from Lodwar in Turkana County as pictured following heavy rains on October 18, 2019. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

 SAMMY LUTTA
By SAMMY LUTTA
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PETER WARUTUMO
By PETER WARUTUMO
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Residents of Turkana County have suffered severe damage following heavy rains that have seen Kawalase seasonal river and River Turkwel burst their banks.

On Friday, the flood waters swept through the Lodwar livestock, fish and cereals markets, leaving property damaged.

Homes were also destroyed and transport and business activities paralysed.

Resident Brian Ekiru said one of the most affected business activities was the transportation of fish from Lake Turkana to Lodwar and other parts of the country.

Turkana flooding

A view of the fish market in Lodwar following heavy rains in several parts of Turkana County, September 13, 2019. PHOTO | PETER WARUTUMO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Schools including Erait Academy and St Kevin Secondary, Salvation Army and St Teresa Pastoral Centre were also affected.

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The management rushed to evacuate learners to safe ground and organise for continued studies as those in Standard Eight and Form Four prepare for the national examinations, some which will begin later in October.

LIVESTOCK DEAD

Reports indicated that hundreds of livestock were killed and that traders were trapped at the fish market, watching as their items were swept away by the waters.

Residents and outsiders had taken their animals there for the launch of market days by Governor Josphat Nanok, a function which was interrupted by the rains and postponed.

One Zainab Nakain said the county asked them to take their animals to the market for the function.

She reported that the two people they left at the sales yard after the event aborted were missing and may have died in the floods.

Turkana floods

The aftermath of a heavy downpour at a church in Lodwar town, Turkana County, on October 18, 2019. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Others showed journalists a picture of a man whose body was found in a bush in Loima on Saturday morning.

Joseph Losuru, the Turkana County Livestock Market chair, said they lost more than 1,000 animals. He blamed the county, saying it could have put up gabions to stop the floodwaters.

Resident Daniel Kichiko blamed the county and national governments, accusing them of responding poorly to the disaster.

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