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Nairobi tenants, landlords count losses after floods

It was around 10pm on Tuesday and Monica Jebet was deep asleep. But screams from her neighbours woke her up – water was getting into houses as it was raining heavily.

Ms Jebet who lives at National Housing Corporation (NHC) Nairobi West apartments says water was already waist-high by the time she woke up.

She was however able to wade through and managed to get out of the house. Hers is among the 10 houses in the basement.

“We were helpless and only watched as the water filled our houses and destroyed property,” she says.

“I would have slept outside had it not been for the kindness of a neighbour. We were strangers to each other but that did not seem to matter to my neighbour who lived on an upper floor,” she says.

This story is not unique to her. Others are living in hotels and the costs are becoming unbearable. Floods have claimed 12 lives and destroyed millions worth of property.

“I was watching TV when water started flowing into the house. I thought I had left the tap open only to realise the water was coming from outside,” said Mr Apar Jain who is now living at in a hotel.

Ms Dorothy Rautta says she could not save anything including certificates.

“It happened so fast and in less than ten minutes the water had reached the ceiling,” she says.

Her husband Mr Rautta Athiambo who is also chairman of the estate accused NHC of abandoning them at their time of need.

Mr Athiambo said they experienced some floods in Mach but it was not as massive. They asked NHC to take measures but nothing was done.

The house owners now want the corporation to offer them alternative houses or re-buy the houses from them at the current market rates.

The tenants are accusing NHC officials of refusing to answer their calls. Our efforts to reach NHC proved futile as the managing director Kamau Maina failed pick our calls or reply text messages.

Some city landlords are also counting losses after tenants in South C, South B, Nairobi West, Ruaraka, Umoja and Imara Daima started vacating their houses.

Source: Daily Nation