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Poor drainage angers city residents as rains damage key roads

A number of roads in Nairobi have turned into a nightmare for residents due to flooding caused by heavy rains.

In some estates, especially the eastern part of the city, a number of roads and pathways have been rendered impassable.

City Hall has attributed the problem to poor the drainage system.

“The whole drainage system is strained since it was designed when Nairobi had a very small population compared to today,” county executive for the environment Evans Ondieki said.

He added that there was a lot of water being generated from the roads and from the many buildings coming up in Nairobi.


These waters cannot be channeled through the existing drainage system at the same time, he said.

“We waste a lot of time driving through some of the roads, especially those with deep gullies that are now filled with water,” a motorist  on Kirongothi Street in Eastleigh said.

Kirongothi Street is a passageway that is used by thousands of people and motorists as it links the sprawling estates to Juja Road.

People living within the estates, where several highrise buildings are coming up, have to walk carefully while crossing the roads to avoid pools of rain water.

Most of the streets in the western side of the populous Eastleigh area have similar problems.


In Donholm, rain waters have been clogging pathways and residents are sometimes forced to use a rickshaws in some areas.

Traders have not been spared, as they are forced to close their businesses when it rains to avoid water splashed by cars messing up their wares.

The problem is expected to continue as the weatherman has predicted that  there will be more rain Nairobi in the coming weeks.

“We are planning to upgrade the whole drainage system but this is a long-term plan,” Mr Ondieki told Nation in a telephone interview.

He cited Upper Hill area, where the drainage system was designed to channel water from a population of about 200 residents working or residing there.

“We now have between 15,000 to 20,000 people who are working or residing in the area and with such a population the system remains strained,” he said.

As a temporary measure, Mr Ondieki said, residents should help the county government staff unclog the water outlets to prevent continuous flooding.

City Hall is also facing another problem as the sewerage system can no longer channel all the human waste from the expanding population.