DESTROYED ENVIRONMENT

Beware of more landslides, warns Met

Regions are most vulnerable due to topography and ongoing heavy rains

In Summary

• At least 30 people have so far been killed in flooding-related incidents across the country. 

• More than 3,000 people have been displaced, according to county governments and the Kenya Red Cross Society.

A landslide swept three farms in Gitugi, Mathioya subcounty in Murang'a county, on Saturday, April 28, 2018
DEVASTATION: A landslide swept three farms in Gitugi, Mathioya subcounty in Murang'a county, on Saturday, April 28, 2018
Image: FILE

The weatherman has warned of possible landslides in parts of Mt Kenya, the Aberdares and Western Kenya. 

Head of the Meteorological Department Stella Aura said the regions were most vulnerable due to topography and the ongoing heavy rains. 

"People living in landslide-prone areas especially on the slopes of the Aberdare Ranges, Mt Kenya, Western Kenya and other hilly areas should look out for cracks in the ground and take the necessary measures to safeguard their lives and property," she said in a statement.

 

At least 30 people have so far been killed in flooding-related incidents across the country. 

More than 3,000 people have been displaced, according to county governments and the Kenya Red Cross Society.

On Wednesday, the National Environment Complaints Committee blamed poor land use practices and wanton destruction of the environment for the flooding.

The environmental watchdog said uncontrolled sand harvesting and quarrying had worsened matters.

“Most quarries are, for instance, going on without environmental impact assessment,” NECC secretary John Chumo said.

Chumo said EIA was critical as it examined the effects of a project on the environment.

He said the study identifies both negative and positive impacts of any development activity or project, how it affects people, their property and the environment.

 

Chumo said agencies with the mandate of overseeing that procedures have been followed have not been doing so.

NECC's mandate is to investigate environmental mismanagement and degradation in Kenya. It also undertakes public interest litigation on behalf of citizens on environmental matters.

Chumo said people have been clearing vegetation within upper catchment areas before cultivation.

“The vegetation stabilises the soil and when there is none, cases of landslides rise,” he said.

Chumo said lack of extension officers who can offer services to farmers had contributed to the mess.

He said lack of enforcement as well as a don’t-care attitude was now coming to haunt Kenyans.

Chumo said the raging waters should be harvested especially due to the fact that Kenya is a water-scarce nation.

The National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority, however, does not have enough funds to harvest and store water.

Authority acting CEO Geoffrey Sang said 27 small dams and water pans had been completed in various parts of the country.

He said the small dams and water pans cost between Sh5 million and Sh10 million

They are, however, small as they can only store between 10,000 cubic metres and 25,000 cubic metres.

They are in Nakuru, Embu, Makueni, Kajiado, Garissa, Mandera, Turkana, Baringo, Nyeri, Kiambu, Wajir, Elgeyo Marakwet and  Bungoma. 

Edited by R.Wamochie