Agony of flooded rivers: Wedding tears, impassable roads

Hue and cry as residents beg authorities to come to their aid and repair damaged infrastructure

By Albert Lemomo

Picture this: A wedding has been planned months in advance. Everything is in place, including the reception area, where families of the bride and groom would share a celebratory meal to cement the joining together of the lucky couple.

Lucky? On the morning of the wedding, and as the two separate parties were on their way to the church where the couple would be joined in holy matrimony, an unexpected hurdle was literally on their way.

The Maparasha River, which they had to cross, was swollen, roaring furiously and daring anyone trying to cross it. Seeing as crossing the river would be an act of suicide, especially on their wedding day, a hasty decision had to be made. The now frustrated couple had to exchange their vows on the banks of the river.

Sadly, for the couple, the reception was on the opposite side of the offending river. A section of the guests had to tuck in in the absence of the newly-wed couple.

This incident perfectly illustrates how the recent rains have destroyed infrastructure in various parts of Kajiado County. Many rural roads have been rendered impassable and bridges destroyed.

This has led to a hue and cry as residents beg authorities to come to their aid and repair the damaged infrastructure.

John Munene, a lorry driver, claims to have suffered huge losses during the festive period as a result of the breakdown of his lorry as well as impassable roads.

“I am in the transport business, where I ferry people with perishable goods to consumers in the remote areas of Kajiado. Since the rains started pounding, it has been difficult reaching certain areas, including Torosei, Mailwa, and Meto due to the dilapidated state of the roads,” said Munene, adding that at times he has been forced to spend nights outside in the cold with the perishable goods, which end up getting spoiled.

Other people complain of being unable to take their sick relatives to hospitals due to the poor condition of the roads.

“During the holidays, I had a critically ill patient at home who needed quick medical attention but we couldn’t get it since the ambulance couldn’t reach our home because the road was completely destroyed,” says James Sitelu. “Family members had to walk a long distance to fetch emergency medication as we waited for the running waters to subside. And when it was brought, the medicine had to be thrown from the other side of Olkejuado River, as the bridge had been completely submerged by the floods.”

“Most of our children might face disciplinary actions because of getting to school late because of these poor roads,” said Anastasia Kilesi from Rombo.

A total of seven people have lost their lives in Kajiado County as a result of floods caused by heavy rains.

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