Heavy Rains and floods

The Meteorological Department has notified Nairobi residents to expect heavy to very heavy rains exceeding 40mm in 24 hours beginning Thursday.

In the forecast broadcast Thursday afternoon, the weatherman said the rain is expected to persist across several regions including the Lake Victoria Basin, Rift Valley, Highlands West and East of the Rift Valley, Southeast Lowlands, Coast, and northern sector.

“The intensity is predicted to escalate, surpassing 50mm in 24hrs,” the department said and advised Kenyans to stay weather-aware and prepared.

It said the heavy rains are expected to persist from Friday, April 26 through to Saturday, April 27.

“Reduction in intensity is likely by April 28. Gusty winds, large Ocean waves, and strong southerly winds are likely in the eastern sector. Stay safe and vigilant,” the weatherman said.

According to the forecast, the heavy rains that will hit 100mm in some areas in Nairobi are expected in Westlands, Lang’ata, Kibra, Roysambu, Dagoreti South and Embakasi East and South.

The neighbouring Kiambu is also expected to receive the rains in places like Kiambaa, Kabete, Limuru, Githunguri, Thika town, Ruiru, Juja and Gatundu North and South.

The forecast shows that the rains will spill over to Machakos and ravage areas such as Matungulu, Mavoko and Kangundo as well as Masinga, Mwala, Kathiani, Machakos town and Yatta where intensity is expected to drop slightly and oscillate between 20 to 50mm of rain.

Residents of Kajiado have also been advised to stay weather aware as rains of varied intensity are expected Thursday through Friday.

The rains are expected to cause flash floods in many areas including where it may not rain considering the ground is already saturated in areas that received heavy rains Tuesday night.

Nairobi county government issued an update Thursday saying at least 60,000 people were affected by the floods which were worsened by Ngong River and Mau Mau River breaking their banks.

Four people died while six were reported missing, Governor Johnson Sakaja said.

The Kenya National Highways Authority and the Kenya Red Cross issued safety guidelines to motorists and pedestrians and advised extreme caution and adherence to the guidelines to avert loss of lives.

Motorists were asked to drive at reduced speeds to maintain control over their vehicles and to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles to allow for sudden stops.

Drivers were also advised to avoid unnecessary lane changes and overtaking or driving through flooded sections of the road and bridges.

Pedestrians were equally asked to avoid walking through moving waters and walking in areas with downed electricity cables to avert the risk of electrocution.