LONG RAINS

Met warns of flash floods in March

Pedestrians along the Kikuyu-Kinungi stretch on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway told to be on the lookout

In Summary

• Met says the March long rains may lead to transport challenges, especially in areas where the roads become impassable when it rains.

• Motorists told to take utmost care during the rainy period to minimise accidents. 

A tuk tuk on a flooded road
A tuk tuk on a flooded road
Image: FILE
Floodwater cuts across the busy Narok-Mai Mahiu highway.
DESTRUCTION TRAIL: Floodwater cuts across the busy Narok-Mai Mahiu highway.
Image: FILE

Nairobi is among counties likely to experience flash floods during the long rains season expected to start in March.

The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned that flash floods are very likely to occur in the Lake Victoria Basin, the highlands West of the Rift Valley, the Central Rift Valley and the highlands East of the Rift Valley due to the expected rainfall in these areas.

The March-May 2021 long rains weather outlook indicated that slippery roads and poor visibility during rainstorms may also pose a danger to motorists and pedestrians, especially along the Kikuyu-Kinungi stretch on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway.

“Urban flooding is also very likely. Motorists should, therefore, take utmost care during the rainy period to minimise accidents that would result from such weather conditions,” Met warned.

Met director Stella Aura said contingency plans and strategies should be put in place to avert such incidences.

In the Lake Victoria Basin and the highlands West of the Rift Valley where above average rainfall is expected, lightning strikes are highly probable, especially in Kisii, Kisumu, Nandi, Bungoma (Mt. Elgon areas) and Kakamega counties.

“Cases of flooding in flood-prone areas such as Budalang'i are likely. Landslides/mudslides are likely on the hilly areas of western Kenya as well as parts of the highlands East of the Rift Valley,” she said.

Aura said Rift Valley lakes, which are already filled up, are expected to maintain high levels of water and may lead to displacement of people and/or loss of lives, livelihoods and destruction of property.

The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, county governments and humanitarian institutions are advised to put in place measures to avert possible negative impacts that may arise including loss of lives, livelihoods and property.

County governments are also advised to clear drainages in good time to avert artificial flooding of the city estates.

The weather outlook also indicated that water resources are expected to be replenished over most of the Lake Victoria Basin, the highlands West of the Rift Valley and the Central Rift Valley due to the expected enhanced rainfall.

“The major river catchment areas for the country’s hydroelectric power generating dams are forecast to receive near-average rainfall. This means that surface water runoffs may register maintained inflows into rivers Sondu Miriu, Turkwell, Tana and Athi. There is risk of flooding downstream of Tana and Athi Rivers,” the forecast stated.