One dead and Narok town cut off as floods wreak havoc

Wednesday March 14 2018

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A student has been killed and Narok town cut off as a result of heavy rains pounding the Rift Valley region

Floodwaters on Tuesday evening swept away Lucy Gathoni, 16, as she walked home on Maai Mahiu-Narok road from Governor Secondary School in Longonot.


According to Maai Mahiu Location Chief Zacharia Igeria, Gathoni was overpowered by the raging waters a few metres from the school.

Her parents waited for her in vain and her body was found in a ditch on Wednesday morning.

The floods made a section of the road sink 15 metres deep at Suswa, leaving motorists stranded.

Vehicles from Nairobi were diverted to Nakuru

Vehicles from Nairobi were diverted to Nakuru while those from Nyanza take Kericho route. PHOTO | MACHARIA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Kenya Highways Authority said in a statement that the road, six kilometers from Narok town, developed a fault line stretching 200 metres, completely cutting off the Maa town.

The road is a busy highway that connects Nairobi to the South rift, the world famous Maasai Mara game reserve, Luo Nyanza.

It is also an alternative route to the neighbouring Tanzania through Isibania in Migori County.

Traffic commandant Samuel Kimaru said police had issued an alert for motorists to use alternative routes.

Maai Mahiu-Narok

On March 14, 2018, floodwaters swept away a section of the Maai Mahiu-Narok road leaving motorists stranded. The road has been cut off, again. PHOTO | FILE |NATION MEDIA GROUP

All motorists heading to Bomet, Kisii and its environs were advised to use Nakuru-Kericho-Kaplong road, while those going to Nairobi from Narok were asked to use the Narok-Nakuru-Nairobi road.

KeNHA said it had dispatched a team of engineers to assess the damage and come up with a temporary measurers to restore traffic.

Perennial flash floods have become the order of the day in Suswa for the last one week, causing a massive traffic jam and inconveniencing motorists.

Whenever it rains, floodwaters from the Suswa Escarpment roar down the hills to the lower lying areas.

The waters suddenly appear on the tarmac, with a lot of debris and mad, making the road slippery and impassable.

Onlookers at the scene. The Kenya Highways

Onlookers at the scene. The Kenya Highways Authority has dispatched a team of engineers to assess the damage. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE |NATION MEDIA GROUP

On Tuesday, the government cautioned motorists using the route to be wary of silt and debris near Suswa market to avoid accidents and being swept away.

Last Sunday, passengers were stuck at Suswa for hours after it rained cats and dogs.

Mr Moses Obiri, who was travelling on a Modern coach from Kisii-to Nairobi, said he spent seven hours inside a bus waiting for the floods to subside.

“The most dangerous thing of all is the debris and the mad that was brought along by the fast flowing waters onto the tamarack. Many vehicles got stuck with others seeking alternative routes inside the nearby farms,” he said.

A Kenya power truck got stuck at the spot for three days after it was pushed into a ditch by the floods.


The heavy rains pounding the region are likely to continue, according to the Kenya Meteorological Department.

The department on Friday issued an alert of impeding heavy downpour with possible devastating effects in many parts of the country beginning this week.

Acting Met director Peter Ambeje said heavy rains will kick off on Monday, March 12, in many parts of Kenya, including Narok.

He mentioned are Kisii, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, Migori, Kakamega, Kajiado, Nakuru and Kwale.

Western, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Northern, Southeastern, Coast, Central and Nairobi are already experiencing heavy rains.

On May 10, 2012 a section of the Maai Mahiu- Narok road was washed away by floods near Suswa market.

President Kibaki inaugurated the Maai Mahiu-Narok road on August 26, 2011.

Additional reporting by Justus Wanga