ROADS RUINED, FARES HIKED

Heavy rains leave a trail of destruction in Garissa

In Summary

• The three-hour heavy downpour that pounded the town and its environment left many roads impassable.

• Residents are pointing an accusing finger at both the national and county governments for awarding tenders to cowboy contractors, who they say do not have the capacity to build roads.

Muslims faithful pray for rain at the Rt General Mohamud Prayer Grounds
DOWNPOUR: Muslims faithful pray for rain at the Rt General Mohamud Prayer Grounds
Image: /Stephen Astariko

Four people on Sunday morning escaped death when their vehicle was almost swept away as it tried to cross a flooded stream in Bulla Masalani, Garissa town. The vehicle rolled several times.

The three-hour heavy downpour that pounded the town and its environment left a trail of destruction, rendering many roads impassable. 

Residents have pointed an accusing finger at both the national and county governments for awarding tenders to cowboy contractors, who they claim do not have the capacity to build roads.

The tarmac roads that were constructed less than four months ago have been washed away by the raging water last evening.

Residents also said some affluent individuals have erected structures along the riparian zone, blocking waterways completely.

Residents want the government to construct a proper drainage system to prevent flooding during the rainy season.

The most affected areas are Bulla Masalani, Bulla Bashal, Windsor and Bulla Slaughter. Residents fear waterborne diseases outbreak.

Water levels in the River Tana have steadily risen over the past four days.

The Meteorological Department has issued a weather forecast that the rains are expected to increase until the early weeks of December.

In Wajir, the situation is the same. Most roads are impassable because of the heavy rains. Public transport vehicles have hiked fares.

The Star has established that bus operators have almost doubled the fare. On normal days, a journey from Wajir to Nairobi costs Sh2,500, but they are now charging Sh3,500. It also takes more hours to get to the destination.

Siyat Abdi a bus operator plying the route said they had no choice but to hike fare to cover the wear and tear of the vehicles.

“You can't imagine the losses we are incurring on this road, especially from Modogashe to Wajir that is in a terrible condition. In fact, we are being fair to our customers otherwise we could charge even more,” Abdi said.