Two children die, many left homeless after heavy floods in Taita Taveta

A flooded field in Taita Taveta county.The weatherman has warned of heavy rains that are set to rock Kwale county starting Tuesday PHOTO: COURTESY.

Taita Taveta, KENYA: Two children have died in Taita Taveta county after they were swept by floods following heavy rains that pounded the region on Thursday night.

More than 200 families have also been displaced after the floods swept away their homes.

County Police Commander Fred Ochieng said the boys aged five and eight drowned when they tried to cross the road following the heavy downpour.

In the first incident, the boy aged five drowned at Landi trading centre within Mwatate sub-county as he was trying to cross the road.

“The minor was going home from school after a heavy downpour when he was swept away by raging water as he tried to cross the road,” Mr. Ochieng said.

The county police commander said the minor’s body was later found lying dead in a ditch at Chakaleri area having been deposited by running water.

“The police visited the scene and moved the minor’s body to Moi county referral hospital for postmortem examination,” Mr. Ochieng said.

Mwatate Location Chief Nicholas Kambucha said the child was a pupil at Maili Kumi primary school.

A family that has been displaced by the floods. PHOTO: FATUMA RASHID.

In another incident, an eight-year-old primary school child also drowned at Lesesia village within Taveta sub-county.

The police said the standard one pupil was herding goats together with other children when they decided to swim in a nearby ditch which formerly used to be a quarry.

“The ditch had been flooded with rainwater, the child drowned as he tried to swim,” Mr. Ochieng said.

He said the body of the minor has been taken to Taveta sub-county hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem examination.

Mr. Ochieng advised parents to pick their children from school during this rainy seasons to avoid cases of children being swept by floods.

“Parents are advised to caution their young ones especially school going children against crossing running waters and playing in pools of stagnant waters during this period of heavy rain,” he said.

At the same time, he cautioned those living along the hill slopes and waterways to move to safer grounds to avoid further incidents of people being swept away by floods or walls collapsing on people.

Five people have so far died in the county as a result of heavy rains that have been pounding the county over the last three weeks.