Farmer counts losses after his tea farm was hit by a minor landslide

A farmer in Mathioya Sub County of Murang’a is counting losses after hundreds of his tea bushes were swept away in a landslide on Wednesday night.

Gerald Rungare from Kairo Sub location incurred huge losses after part of his farm was destroyed by a landslide that was triggered by ongoing rains in the region.

Debris from the farm were dumped in a neighbouring farm with the landslide leaving behind a huge gully.

The area by yesterday morning had received 108.3 milimetres of rain not considering rains which have been experienced in parts of Murang’a since the onset of short rains early this month.

The Director of Murang’a Meteorological Services, Paul Murage said current rains are well distributed saying the type of rains infiltrates in the soil more.

He noted that the increased water penetration makes the soil heavy and considering the nature of topography, landslides are more likely to occur.

The director warned that more landslides may be experienced in the county especially in tea growing zones, saying the county will continue receiving more rains before end of December this year.

In some tea farms there are no trees hence this makes the land prone to landslides. The county disaster committee has been advised to take precautions early as many parts of the county may experience landslides, added Murage.

In 2017, land cracks were witnessed in parts of Mathioya, something which forced some families to relocate.

Rain water is said to percolate on the cracks posing danger to residents whose homes may be hit by landslides.

Last year during the April rains, five people lost their lives and several families got displaced after their homes were hit by landslides.

Rainfall data collected by the county meteorological department indicates that parts of Kiriaini in Mathioya Sub County have received highest rainfall of 245.3 milimetres since the short rains season onset in October 3.

More rains are being experienced at middle zones of the county as minimal rains have been experienced at lower and upper zones of the county.

Murage requested the county disaster committee to be on the lookout and relocate families in areas which show signs of landslides until such a time when rains will decrease.

Source: Kenya News Agency