Floods paralyze transport in Tanariver leaving hundreds stranded

Redcross officials pushing a stuck landcruiser in Dukanotu area PHOTO COURTESY

Hundreds of people are stranded in Dukanotu area of Tana River county for the sixth day after a road linking Tanariver and Garissa county was completely cut off by floods.

Currently, over 30 heavy commercial vehicles carrying goods are stuck on both sides of the road for the past one week after the road became completely inaccessible.

This is according to the Tana River county director of communications Steve Juma who said the road located in Bura constituency was cut off by floods on Thursday last week just a day after the national government urged residents living along the riverine areas to move to higher ground.

READ ALSO: Floods displace 300 families in Tana River

The situation has also paralyzed movement between Hola and Mandogo towns with residents being forced to swim dangerously across the flooded road.

Kenya Red Cross Officials who spoke to Baraka FM expressed concerns that the situation could derail efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to more than 500 households in Sala where houses have been submerged in water.

Kenya Red Cross Society Coast regional Manager Hassan Musa said they decided to return to Malindi as it was difficult to reach the over 500 households that have been affected.

”We had planned to go and assess the situation at Sala and Mororo in Tanariver and unfortunately when we got to Dukanotu we found the road completely cut off,” he said.

Two Red Cross land cruisers that had attempted to cross over the flooded road had to be pulled out by a food lorry after they got stuck.

Musa said that they could be forced to access the flooded area using helicopters.

Truck drivers who spoke to Baraka FM say they have been forced to eat the fruits they were carrying and drink rainwater in order to survive.

READ ALSO: Hungry desert locusts eat away Tana River’s breadbasket

”There is no food to eat people eat mangoes and watermelons, we also drink the floodwater, we have no assistance from anybody here we urgently appeal for assistance the road should be repaired so that people can cross to the other side and continue with their businesses,” Joseph Kimani, a truck driver told Baraka FM.

The driver noted that most of them are worried as the vegetable produce they are carrying has already started to rot.

However, this is not a new scene in the county that has overtime became the Kenyan face of the climate change crisis with residents often being caught up between floods and drought.

In November last year, more than 4000 households in Tana North sub-county were evacuated after floods engulfed the area.

Hardly had the flood waters dried up when desert locusts descended on the fertile parts of the county destroying 2500 acres of food crops with county officials warning the invasion could further fuel the looming food crisis.

Tana River is the only county in the coastal region that was invaded by the swarms of the locusts which have been linked to climate change.