Heavy rains are coming and Sonko is yet to fix city’s drainage
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has ignored warnings from the weatherman on heavy rains that will pound the city from October through to December.
The Kenya Meteorological Department had three weeks ago warned of unusually high rainfall in Nairobi in the next three months that will result in flooding.
Yet despite the warning, underground drain lines in the city centre remain heavily silted, while manholes are clogged with solid waste.
Flooding hotspots like South C, Ruai, Thome and parts of Kasarani drainages have been ignored and drainages are still filled with plastic waste and vegetation.
During the March rains, Governor Sonko apologised to Nairobians for the clogged drainage, but blamed Evans Kidero’s led administration for misappropriating funds meant to clear them.
“Rains are supposed to be a blessing and not a curse. Towards this end, my government has hit the ground running to mitigate against the adverse effects we have seen since the rains started. As a start, I have today directed the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company to hasten the process of unlocking the drainage system all over the county.
“In the same vein, I am shocked that some Sh10 billion set aside by the previous administration for unblocking the drainage system did not go to the intended use but ended up in the pockets of some unscrupulous characters,” he wrote on Facebook.
The directive was never enforced.
During the same month, Nairobi’s Roads and Infrastructure County Executive Mohamed Dagane said the county had allocated Sh32 million for improvement of drainage system in the county.
The money was meant for procuring additional equipment as well as paying casuals who would unclog drainages across the county.
In April, the county government received drainage unclogging machines from the Ministry of Transport and Urban Development.
The cabinet secretary John Macharia, during the handover ceremony, said the equipment was part of the World Bank-funded Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project (NAMSIP) worth Sh500 million in which 75 per cent of the funds (Sh375,000) have been allocated to Nairobi to solve its drainage problem.
No works have been carried out yet.