8 dead, several missing as floods wreak havoc in Kajiado

Eight people died and several others are still feared missing after they were swept away by raging floods while attempting to cross River Kandisi in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County.

Six of the victims, two men and four women had been caught up by the heavy rains that pounded the area Thursday evening and drowned while crossing a bridge on their way home.

The other two, a woman and her son, were killed by floods inside their house near Kiserian.

Reports indicate that the woman and her son had escaped to safe grounds but met their deaths when they went back to their house to salvage their belongings.

Bodies were still scattered on the banks of the river Friday morning as residents flocked the area to assess damage and search for their loved ones.

Angry residents blocked the Kiserian- Ongata Rongai road for more than four hours Friday morning, paralysing transport activities to protest the deaths. They blocked police from collecting the bodies.

They accused the police and County government of laxity in emergency response arguing that the people could have been saved if they responded on time.

The locals blamed the contractor for doing shoddy work on the bridge and called for his arrest saying that the rails were weak and the victims were unable to support themselves while crossing.

Confirming the incident, Kajiado County Commissioner David Kipkemei urged residents to be on high alert and avoid crossing flooded rivers at night.

Kipkemei regretted that more than 25 lives had been lost in Kajiado County since the rains started in March due to recklessness.

It is sad that we have lost more than 25 lives since the rains started as people do not listen to warnings not to cross flooded rivers and bridges. We will now be forced to take action against those crossing flooded rivers for endangering their lives, he said.

He further called on locals living along river banks to move to higher grounds until the rains subside and urged parents to accompany their children to school to avoid further fatalities.

Source: Kenya News Agency