Friday, April 19, 2013

Business and other major activities at minimal in Nguruman as floods persist

By Francis Maina and Kelvin Koinet.

Following the recent rains in most parts of the country, Nguruman community including businessmen, farmers, pastoralist have suffered losses and their activities interrupted by the resulting floods.

Many of the farmers and agents involved in export of the Asian vegetables and other Agriculture produced in the area say there is an increased cost of transportation from Nguruman to the markets in Kiserian, Rongai and the airport in Nairobi. “Time taken is much longer and sometimes we are not guaranteed that, the produce will reach targeted market on time…” an exporter’s agent said. There is hardship in accessing market and as the Asian vegetables need to be harvested while still young and tender, most of them deteriorated in quality forcing farmers to feed them on livestock . 

Sections of the road across river channels have been cut by the floods. The village of Ndarkalali has been disconnected from the only shopping centre i.e. Entasopia quite often making it hard for people to go to the shopping centre to access food stuffs. People from the other village of Oloibortoto at times could not cross River Oloibortoto to the main shopping centre of Entasopia and health centre, forcing them to halt their business no matter how argent until the floods subside.  

A community member crossing a flooded river via a fallen tree.
photo by James Mathu
As farmers struggle to get their produce to the markets, business men who make to the area are buying the produce at a lower price citing the difficulties to access the area. Most produce has gone to waste in the farms as farmers have given up harvesting and end up succumbing to the difficulties of market access.

The new irrigation system Installation process has been hit many times by the wild river floods. The pipes have been damaged and destroyed at sections. The intake has also been damaged. When NCV interviewed an engineer who sought anonymity, he said these are mare damages that will be rectified when the rains recede.   

It has been a nightmare travelling along Nguruman-Magadi-Kiserian route. This has been contributed by the rising water levels at Lake Magadi covering the road that cut across the Lake. Road at Kamkuru along Magadi-Kiserian route has been impassable due to flash floods that has occurring often persisting for over a month and covering about two kilometers. The only bus playing Nguruman-Kiserian is not reliable and oftenly gets spoiled due to bad terrain.

Section of the road damaged by ranging rains.
Photo by Samuel Nzioka

The floods have been a problem for years every rainy season as in many other pats in the country but no permanent solution has been put in place. The community is hoping that relevant authorities will step up to action as the new Government comes to power. 

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