alexa Heavy rain brings Nairobi to a standstill - Daily Nation

Heavy rain brings Nairobi to a standstill

Wednesday May 13 2015

AFTERMATH: A picture showing vehicles that

AFTERMATH: A picture showing vehicles that stalled in South C on May 12, 2015 evening following floods. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE NATION MEDIA GROUP

AGGREY MUTAMBO
By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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Heavy rain in Nairobi on Tuesday evening rendered many city roads impassable.

And as Kenyans took to social media to lament the deplorable state of drainage systems in the city, a school bus with children on board near the South C Mosque was almost swept away by the raging waters that followed a two-hour downpour.

Emergency workers also found it difficult to reach those who were stranded.

Kenya Red Cross Secretary-General Abbas Gullet told the Nation his team and that from the county fire department had been dispatched to the stuck bus, but were finding it difficult to move through the water.

A Makini School bus stuck on a flooded road. PHOTO | COURTESY | @Ma3Route

A Makini School bus stuck on a flooded road. PHOTO | COURTESY | @Ma3Route

“We are aware of the situation and a team has been sent there but they are also stuck on the way. We are trying to find alternatives,” he said.

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Motorists complained of torrents of water, several feet deep in some sections, which made several roads impossible to navigate.

On Thika Road, the so-called modern drainage system apparently failed to cope.

Clogged passages meant large volumes of water were flowing across, and at some places, along the road.

Some motorists called the Nation newsroom a few minutes to midnight, saying they had little hope of getting home soon.

BUS STUCK

In South C, a school bus with children on board was stuck on a flooded section of Muhoho Avenue, half submerged, for several hours.

Shortly after midnight and with no sign of the road adjacent to the South C Mosque becoming usable, a handful of motorists parked on the pavement to wait, with others turning back in search of alternative routes.

Vehicles at a standstill in South C, Nairobi. PHOTO |  COURTESY | Ma3Route

Vehicles at a standstill in South C, Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY | Ma3Route

Large sections of Ole Shapara Avenue were also flooded, and a power blackout in the area compounded the problem making it difficult for motorists and pedestrians to gauge the depth of the water and navigate through it.

At the T Mall roundabout on Lang'ata Road, traffic was at a standstill as a bridge was submerged. The surrounding roads in Nairobi West and Madaraka were backed up as a result.

Several passengers in Lang'ata-bound matatus opted to alight and either attempt to wade across or return to the CBD despite it being after midnight.

One commuter, Annie Waite, reported that a school van from South B that was on its way to drop children at Nyayo Highrise was stuck for hours in a ditch near a petrol station on Lang'ata Road. But at around 3am, a Good Samaritan rescued the children using a pickup and then helped jump-start the vehicle of another stranded motorist.

Additional reporting by Mark Renja.