Nairobi: City under water as heavy rains hit hard, expose poor drainage


LEFT: Pedestrians and a motorist stranded on the Kasarani–Mwiki Road. RIGHT: Motorists stuck in ...
LEFT: Pedestrians and a motorist stranded on the Kasarani–Mwiki Road. RIGHT: Motorists stuck in traffic jam on Mombasa road. PHOTOS | COURTESY

Nairobi, that has for the longest time been known as the green city under the sun, is once again a city under water.

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Heavy rains that have been pounding the county have resulting in flooded regions across the capital.

Several roads were flooded for the better of Tuesday and Wednesday morning with motorists stranded in massive traffic jams, and pedestrians forced to wade through water.

On March 3 this year, the government extended the National Hygiene Program, popularly known as Kazi Mtaani.

One of the activities that youth under the program undertake is unclogging of drainages.

Poor drainage has for the longest time been blamed for perennial flooding in Nairobi whenever the rainy season sets in.

Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) Director General Mohammed Badi had previously assured President Kenyatta of his agency’s determination to transform the capital into a ‘smart city’.

“On re-carpeting of CBD roads, NMS has completed 30 percent of all the roads and is using Kazi Mtaani initiative. To this end, NMS has engaged our youth in drainage clearing, waste management and rehabilitation of roads,” DG Badi told the President on June 30, 2020.

President Kenyatta then commended NMS for its efforts in improving service delivery in Nairobi and its catchment.

He expressed satisfaction with the progress made by NMS in implementing the directives he gave to the new agency at its launch on March 18, 2020.

In 2019, the Nairobi County Government –under the then Governor Mike Sonko — had also begun a process of unclogging drainage systems.

“We are going to fully enforce the Nairobi City County Solid Waste Management Act 2015 to ensure we keep our environment clean and safer to avoid clogging of the drainage systems that eventually leads to flooding and disasters,” he said.

The county government even marked several areas within the city that are highly affected by heavy rains.

They included: Mukuru, Kibera slums, Kileleshwa, Highrise estate, Umoja, Eastleigh, South C, South B, Nairobi West, Lang’ata, Eastleigh, Donholm, Roysambu, Kahawa West, Ruai and Utawala.

However, two years later, perennial flooding remains a massive challenge for Nairobi, with residents placing the blame squarely on the county government for not seeking a permanent solution.

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