One person dead, several missing after Mathare floods

By Cyrus Ombati
One person was killed and several others reported missing in Mathare slums, Nairobi after the area was hit by flash floods at dawn on Sunday.
The body of the middle aged woman was pulled out of the raging water at about 9am in Mathare 2A as police alongside Kenya Red Cross officials launched a search in the area.
The area experienced flash floods following heavy rains that were received in Kiambu region. Ironically, Mathare did not experience rains in the preceding four days.
Starehe OCPD Aphiod Nyagah said the body of the woman was taken to the mortuary after it was found downstream.
Mr Nyagah said they rescued two other people from the water as they continued with their rescue and search mission.
“One of the women was found hanging on the river bank and rushed to Kiambu hospital where she is admitted. Several houses have been submerged by water coming from Ruaka and Kiambu areas,” said Nyagah.
He added the provincial administration was going round advising those living near the river to move out, and that prior to the floods some had ignored the warning.
The affected area in the slum stretches downstream about three kilometers and almost all makeshifts near there were submerged in water.
Residents said they were woken up by water in their houses.
“We knew it had not rained in the area but we were shocked by the amount of water running downstream. All my belongings were flooded,” said Joice Kimani, a resident.
Some residents aired their flooded household goods on the rooftops of their houses with hope they will dry up and be used.
Signs of a similar disaster happening again in the area were imminent with the warning by the Meteorological department that the rains would continue.

Crowds gathered along the river banks in disbelieve.
“We have never seen such amount of water of late. It must have rained somewhere else or a dam burst its banks,” said John Ochieng who stood few meters away from the river.
The most affected were children as their parents were forced to move from the houses to higher grounds during the morning breeze that was being experienced there.
Police said they had reports of displacements and were co-ordinating other government agencies to help in settling those affected.
“We cannot know how many they are for now but we are moving from Mathare to Korogocho where the river meanders and assess the situation,” said Nyagah.
In Kiambu, OCPD Samuel Mukinda said few people were affected by the floods but there was no death.
At least 50 people have recently died in flood related incidents in the country.

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