MAXIMUM ABSORPTION CAPACITY REACHED

Murang'a at risk of landslides over weak soil, says official

Meteorological services official says there will be more water runoff that may result in floods and landslides.

In Summary

Two people have already been killed in Murang'a since the rains started

A farm that experienced earth movements in Kangema last year
NO MORE ABSORPTION: A farm that experienced earth movements in Kangema last year
Image: ALICE WAITHERA

 

Murang'a residents are at serious risk of landslides because the soil has reached its maximum moisture absorption capacity.

County director of meteorological services Paul Murage on Wednesday said reaching maximum capacity means there will be more water runoff that may result in floods and landslides.

Two people have already died following heavy rains. A boy drowned in River Mathioya in Kangema last week while a sand miner was buried in a quarry in Kiharu on Sunday after a heavy downpour.

In Kandara, a family from Gaichanjiru village was rescued by neighbours after a mudslide destroyed their home on Tuesday night. Livestock were killed.

In Delview estate in Gatanga, about 10 homes and 25 business premises were submerged in floodwaters on Tuesday.

Gatanga deputy county commissioner David Rotich said the county government had deployed workers to open culverts to drain the water.

In Wanyaga area, assistant chief Geoffrey Munyua’s home experienced a mudslide that destroyed a water tank and killed livestock on Wednesday morning.

The mudslide also blocked the road leading to the village.

“Residents are now moving to safer grounds and well-wishers are helping to clear the road,” Rotich said.

No fatalities were recorded.

Scores of home across the county have cracks that formed last year during the long rains in which six people were killed and hundreds displaced.

Major rivers such as Maragua and Mathioya are also swelling, putting the lives of nearby residents in danger of floods.

Murage asked residents to be on the lookout for any earth movements in their areas. He said those in risky places should move to safer grounds.

He said those affected should report to police as soon as possible for urgent action to be taken.

Murage said the rains have disrupted transport in Gataka-ini in Gatanga and Mioro in Mathioya.

“There have been losses of livestock, crops and farms destroyed by rains that are expected to persist until the end of the month,” Murage said.

Murang’a is among counties that have often experienced mudslides every rainy season.  In 2017, an 80-year-old woman from Kangari in Kigumo died after a landslide swept away her farm. She was on the farm at the time of the tragedy.

 

edited by p. obuya