Heavy rains flood Kenya’s capital Nairobi

A morning downpour has flooded parts of Nairobi City, wreaking havoc for commuters headed to work.

The rains that started a few minutes after 6am virtually brought business to standstill in the Kenyan capital.

The first casualty was the flow of traffic during the morning rush hours, with vehicles getting stuck on the roads.

Floodwaters filled major streets and avenues in the city, with some commuters wading through it as they alighted from matatus.

Some had to remove their shoes as others parted with a few coins to get ‘lifts’ from porters and pull carts.

Others remained stranded in the streets after making it to the central business district, only to find their passage to their workplaces flooded.

Lots of clusters of Nairobians could be seen sheltering from the rain underneath the trims of buildings, pondering on how to cross the heavily flooded roads.

Flooded roads included Moi Avenue, Tom Mboya, Racecourse, Ronald Ngala, Haile Selassie, Temple Road, Kenyatta Avenue, Kimathi Street among others.

Some pedestrians could be heard making calls to cancel appointments that were to be take place in the early morning as some contemplated going back home.

For those who braved the rain to get to their workplaces urgently, wet clothes and shoes was the order as they tried in vain to find dry spots.

Commuters wade through flood waters on Moi Avenue on March 15, 2018. PHOTO | BERNARDINE MUTANU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

There are fears of heavy floods in slum areas where Nairobi River passes, including Mathare, Mukuru and Sinai.

The floods, once again, cast a spotlight on the sorry state of drainage in Nairobi, a perennial problem that both national and county governments have failed to fix for decades.

Some parts of the biggest commercial hub in East and Central Africa still use drainage and sewer lines that were constructed during the British colonial rule in 1950s and early 1960s.

This is despite the capital’s population expanding more than six times over the last six decades.

Nairobi, with a population of more than 4 million, is both the seat of government of Kenya and the city county headquarters.

The heavy rains pounding most parts of Kenya are likely to continue, according to the Kenya Meteorological Department.

The department on Friday issued an alert of impeding heavy downpour with possible devastating effects in many parts of the country beginning this week.

Acting Met director Peter Ambeje said heavy rains would start on Monday, March 12, in many parts of Kenya, including Nairobi and Mt Kenya region.

He also mentioned are Kisii, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, Migori, Kakamega, Kajiado, Nakuru and Kwale.

Western, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Northern, Southeastern, Coast and Central are already experiencing heavy rains.

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