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Citizen Weekly

Monday 4 May 2015

Heavy rain leaves Mombasa flooded

A daylong downpour Monday grounded activities in many parts of Mombasa, with residential areas among those most affected by the deluge.
Many of the roads were rendered impassable by the floods, making it difficult for many children to go to school as the second term started. As a result, some schools such as Bridge International Academy and St Joseph Children Centre remained closed.
“We are struggling,” said Ms Kanze Charo, a resident who blamed the floods on poor drainage systems caused by construction work carried out by a Chinese road-building company.
The Zhongmei Engineering Group, which constructed roads in the area, has been accused of carrying out shoddy work and exposing residents to floods and diseases.
“I have lived here for five years but I have never experienced something like this, it always rains and the water is carried away but since these roads were constructed, we have had problems with floods,” said Ms Charo.
Mr Miriam Naliaka, the chairperson of Nyali for Peace, Health and Development NGO, said the floods had affected many families whose houses were swamped by water.
Mr Philip Koki, who was one of those affected after one wall of his house collapsed, said that he and his nine-year-old son had nowhere to sleep.
“I do not know where to start. I don’t know where I will sleep tonight. The whole room has been destroyed by the rain,” he said.
Motorists driving on Moi Avenue and Changamwe Road spent long hours in jams as traffic came to a standstill, paralysing movement in the Coastal city. As water levels rose in the streets, shops were closed, some until late in the afternoon.
A waiter at Masters Downtown Hotel in Ganjoni said there were no customers because the streets are flooded.
“We have not received any customer since morning, it seems today I have no work to do, but we hope the rain will stop and they will start coming,” he said. 
While other business were stopped by the heavy rains, umbrella traders did brisk business as commuters grabbed them. On a normal day, an umbrella costs Sh250 or less, but yesterday, the cheapest was selling at Sh300.
Mr Job Mwaura, an umbrella vendor in the town centre, said the sales were good and wished that the rain would keeping falling.
“Today I will close my business early since I had 10 umbrellas and I am only left with two,” he said.
Nation’s efforts to reach Mombasa County Transport Executive Tawfiq Balala for comments were futile as his phone went unanswered.

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