Desperation as hundreds of commuters are stranded after Garissa, Wajir road is cut off by heavy rains

Thousands of travellers plying the Garissa–Nuno–Modogashe–Wajir Road route were left stranded for hours after the busy road was cut off at Jilango area by floods following the heavy rains currently being experienced in the country.

Jilango Village Lagdera Sub County in Garissa County has been experiencing rains since Saturday and the flat surfaced area that lacks flowing channels of rain water saw the rain water converge and head towards the direction of the highway towards a nearby stream.

According to the Assistant chief of Jilango Modogashe Location Abdinassir Osman the rains began pounding the area at 2am and continued till 11am Sunday morning. Despite stopping, rain water kept finding its way to the stream, not only causing havoc in the nearby Jilango village but the other three villages under Osman’s guard.

Livestock was swept away as well as houses with others being destroyed as they had been made of soil and sticks. In Jilango 140 households were affected by the rains, Geilab had 15 households affected, Maalimin Village reported 30 households while  Dihile only 16 households were affected.

“Over 30 goats were swept away and 5 Camels while an identified number of chicken not being traced as yet,” Confirmed Chief Osman.

The locals have now invaded the nearby Jilango Primary school seeking shelter affecting the normal school  schedule and operations.

Another impending danger is the issue of sanitation as all the toilets in the area were swept away and the community members and stranded travellers have to ease themselves in the nearby shrubs amidst a cholera outbreak in the area.

“They have been here for over 24 hours and cannot turn back. The are now using the little that is available and within their reach. The have been using the flowing water to shower and wash their personal belongings especially the truck drivers, “asserted Osman

The village also now lacks supplies as the few shops there had their stock swept away and destroyed by the floods.

“I was called by a neighbour to come over to my shop. I could not believe what I saw, all my stock and goods were nowhere. I had just restocked my shop last Friday, now I feel so depressed,” said Ahmed Jelllow, a shopkeeper.

This road is an important trade corridor for traffic headed from Nairobi to Ethiopia via Moyale or Rhamu. This road also links the Garsen–Witu–Lamu Highway, as part of the  the LamuMoyale highway, under the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project .

The road that began construction in 2015 and ended in 2017 after being commissioned by former President Uhuru Kenyatta used locally sourced funds as well as funding from the UAE through the ) the Kuwait Fund, the OPEC Fund, the Saudi Fund, the Abu Dhabi Fund and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, to fund the upgrade of the road at an estimated cost of Sh13.4 billion (approx. US$134.5 million)

The construction work was contracted to Arab Contractors Limited of Egypt.Already the government and the Garissa county government have sent personnel on the ground to look for a mitigating factor to the problem as the road connects the entire North Eastern area.

MG Team

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