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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Narok floods sharpen divisions between leaders

Twelve people died and properties worth millions damaged after a two-hour flash floods swept across Narok town.
Narok county commissioner Arthur Osiya who confirmed the deaths said the number of the dead was expected to rise.
A sorrowful mood engulfed the town as people went into mourning mood when the news of the people some being popular businessmen and women in town started spreading like bush fire.
The worst moment came when the rescue team made of Red Cross, Kenya Police  and volunteers started retrieving bodies from Enkare Narok river one after the other in strenuous search more than 10 kilometres from Narok town.
Situation in Narok town this time after the two hour flash floods was worse than any other time experienced during such floods in previous years according the business community vice chair David Mpatiam .
Mpatiam appealed to the government to intervene and find a lasting solution to the perennial problem to the business community in Narok town.
He regretted that local leaders are sharply divided and cannot sit and find solution to such problems like endless flooding menace in the town as a team.
During the floods that caught may unawares Some building were smashed down by the ranging water as people scampered to safe areas but some were not lucky and were among those swept away by the water during the melee.
Some victims were trapped in their businesses and were among those swept out and dragged downstream  when the floods fell the walls of the building.
Accusation dominated the speeches made by local leaders led by Narok county governor Samuel ole Tunai , Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta and Senator Stephen ole Ntutu.
They pledged to ensure lasting solution to the flooding menace in town and disclosed that a tender had already been awarded to Chinese company to do drainage system work.
His statement was minutes later whitewashed by the Narok North MP Kenta who dismissed the governor’s statement as mere public relations.
Kenta accused the governor of lacking leadership ability for failing to mitigate the flooding problems in the town.
As the leaders hurled insults at each it also emerged that the latest flooding was as a result of a burst dam recently constructed by Kenya Water and Pipeline Corporation but not Ewaso Ngiro South Development Authority as earlier indicated by the governor during his speech to floods victims.
The Ewaso Ngiro South Development Authority managing director Charles Sunkuli dismissed the governor as a liar who does not bother to put his facts right.
The MD clarified to the press that his organization was not involved in the construction of the deadly water dam at Olopito area in the upper part of the town.
“My organisation wanted to offer technical assistance to the conractor but was flatly told to keep off the project,” said Sunkuli as he threatened to take legal action against the governor for implicating  him and organisation in dam saga.
As this went on, the government dispatched tens of National Youth Service to help in cleaning up the mess.
Owners of more than 20 vehicles washed away by the ranging waters were busy taking stock of the damages as some were heard trying to seek compensation from insurance companies.
Valuables littered the town streets with some people busy collecting them as some desperate businesses owners watched pondering on how to jump start afresh.
Martha Shunet who operates an agrochemical shop said she had incurred a loss of more than Sh2 million  after the water flooded her shop.