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September 26, 2018

Baringo residents blame ‘mathenge’ for fl ooding

Marigat residents at the banks of River Perkerra where the body of 84-year-old Bargeny Kangogo was retrieved on Wednesday /JOSEPH KANGOGO
Marigat residents at the banks of River Perkerra where the body of 84-year-old Bargeny Kangogo was retrieved on Wednesday /JOSEPH KANGOGO

The body of an 84-year-old man was found along River Perkerra in Marigat on Wednesday after heavy rains hit Baringo county.
Bargeny Kangogo is believed to have been swept away last week on Wednesday at 7pm when he was going home in Rabai. “It had rained heavily and the night was dark. We suspect he might have slipped and drowned while attempting to cross the flooded River Perkerra,” his daughter Dinah Lakwara said.
Marigat senior chief Zephaniah Lekachuma said the decomposing body was found downstream in Leswaa village. Kangogo’s death brings to 14 the number of people who have died from floods since April in Baringo.
Betweeen May and July, 11 bodies were collected along seasonal rivers and pan dams in Baringo North, Central, Baringo South and Tiaty subcounties. Marigat police boss Benjollife Munuve said the incidents are still being investigated.
On Friday last week, three schools — Sintaan, Ng’ambo primaries and Ng’ambo secondary — were closed indefinitely owing to floods after Lake Baringo burst its banks.
Learning has been disrupted for more than 6,000 and 300 families have been displaced.
Other schools — Lorobil, Leswa, Salabani, Sokotei, Eldume, Ng’ambo, Sandai, Ol’samburur and Eldume — are also affected.
“Three pupils nearly drowned last Friday on their way to school, but they were rescued by friends and teachers,” Sintaan Primary School head teacher Christine Lolgisoi said.
She said the floods have wreaked havoc and submerged schools, homes, churches and dispensaries.
School chairman Boniface Lesaris urged the government to fast-track emergency humanitarian aid.
Marigat residents have blamed flooding on overgrown prosopis juliflora weed, commonly known as mathenge, which they say blocks and diverts the course of rivers, causing persistent floods.
Marigat-based human right activist Amos Olempaka appealed to the government to clear the fast-growing vegetation. “The weed has been corroding teeth of our livestock and it is now choking water paths, causing deaths,” he said.

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