The weatherman has made his predictions / fore-cast,,,,,, as its known. Kenya is again going to witness another season of continuous heavy rains; Eli-nino is the word going round. A name that reminds me of the hard times. The last time we saw a rainy season going by that name was over ten years ago. If what we saw back then was to be repeated, I’m afraid not much would have changed in the number of victims.
Those who can remember the headlines back then all looked similar. Rains Wreck Havoc… Havoc as Ngaindeithia- Bridge is washed away…havoc as Farmers lose millions as produce rot in farms.. Perhaps the new Thika Road and a few improved bridges will come in handy during those times, but this is just too little to take to the bank.
During the last rainy season which was far less in comparison to Eli-nino rains; KweKwe and Acacia Seasonal rivers both on Magadi road, claimed the lives of over five people; swept a number of vehicles-with the very lucky occupants surviving by the grace of God while those who were not as lucky were found hundreds of meters from the scene; minus their precious lives.
Residents of Kiseria and Rongai demonstrated and even blocked the road for hours. That morning four bodies were retrieved from the seasonal river, The area member of parliament assured them that that the ministry concerned would quickly fix the problem. But as soon as the rains ended so did the promise, the frustrations or whatever the area resident were feeling at that time. Nobody is talking about the bridges today;- not even the aspirants vying for the Kajiado north parliamentary seat.
I normally pass by the bridge almost every week as it falls on our route 126 that goes to Kiserian Township. If anything, Kwekwe River has become even more dangerous; so much waste and vegetation’s have choked the tunnels that are supposed to keep water out of the tarmac and the soil deposits have raised the river to the same level with the road. This means one thing; when the waters come, the road will be naturally closed. Naturally because we will blame the rain water; and spare those who are supposed to have fixed the problem by now.
Another option is to call a strike by all matatu drivers who use Magadi road and demand that the government allocate funds for the construction of this two very essential bridges. Our former member of Parliament who also happened to be the Internal security minister had promised to fix the problem before the next rain season; but unfortunately he will not be around to keep the promise and since we don’t yet have a representative in the August house-not until after the by-election we will have to survive the season praying that it wont be another eli-nino. I appeal to our honorable Government to look in to this before they allocate funds for building a monument to honor professor Saitoti at the site of the chopper crash.