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Kibera quartet prepare for El Niño rains

By Winnie Onyando September 18th, 2023 2 min read

As Kenyans prepare for the El Nino rains which are expected from October through to December 2023, Kibera, considered the largest slum in Kenya, has joined in.

To counter the effect of the El Nino rains, a group of proactive young men in has taken it upon themselves to unclog their area’s drainage systems.

Kibra, an area often severely affected by heavy rains, has a number of shacks constructed from fragile materials such as mud and old iron sheets, which lead to leaks and erosion during rainfall.

Peter Omondi, a Kibra resident, and his peers in the Kianda region have voluntarily embarked on cleaning their drainage system to preempt the arrival of the rains.

He stressed the urgency of their actions due to previous experiences during heavy rainfall.

Omondi also expressed the need for assistance from the county government of Nairobi in the form of cleaning supplies and improved equipment to facilitate their efforts.

“I witnessed the last El Nino sweep away many properties, we are a team of four young men who have chosen to clean our drainage system before the rains kick off lest we be caught off guard. Even though the governor made a promise we have chosen not to wait because we are mostly affected in scenarios like this,” Omondi told Nairobi News.

“Our appeal is for the the county government to assist us with cleaning items like gloves and better equipment to ease our burden,” Omondi added.

Climate change has emerged as a significant concern, not only within Kenya but on a global scale.

Kenya has witnessed a range of adverse weather conditions, including scorching droughts and life-threatening floods.

The World Meteorological Department (MET) has indicated there is a high likelihood of a substantial increase in global temperatures, resulting in disruptive weather and climate patterns.

The MET also forecasts El Niño rains during the October to December period, with a 90% probability of the event continuing through the second half of 2023, expected to be moderately strong.

El Niño is commonly associated with heavy rains and subsequent floods. In preparation for El Niño, the World Health Organization has urged countries to prepare themselves for potential disease outbreaks.

To counter the effect of the rains, Nairobi Governor Sakaja Johnson disclosed the county has devised plans to mitigate the potential hazards posed by above-average rainfall, which could lead to flooding.

To enhance preparedness, Sakaja initiated a series of measures, including dispatching 50 trucks, 6 fire engines, 7 flushing units, 5 ambulances, 10 excavators, 5 exhausters, and 2 fully equipped mobile workshops for emergency response during El Niño-related risks.

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