The Nairobi County government has mapped out flood-prone areas in anticipation of the upcoming El Niño rains, scheduled for next month.
The county identified these zones during a collaborative meeting involving the National Government and delegates from humanitarian and development organizations.
Bramwel Simiyu, the Chief Officer for Disaster Management and Coordination in Nairobi, said the county government will raise awareness among residents in the identified areas about the necessary steps to take during flooding.
Simiyu also noted that nearly 200,000 Nairobians are at risk of displacement due to the torrential rains. The director announced plans to evacuate these regions and set up temporary shelters as a contingency plan.
“As part of our mitigation plan is that we’re deploying our environment workers to continuously unclog the blocked drainages,” Simiyu said.
“We have also tasked our subcounty teams to map out their priorities and resource requirements and come up with a budget. “
The county has singled out Kibra, Mathare, Njiru, and Ruai, among 436 vulnerable hotspots susceptible to flooding.
Others include settlements along the Nairobi River, Mukuru, and Waruku in Kileleshwa, primarily due to their historical susceptibility to flooding events.
Other locations that have witnessed severe flooding in the past are Highrise Estate and South C Shopping Centre, where houses were submerged with water from Mutu-ini-Ngong River in the wake of the heavy rains that hit the city in May.
Flooding has also occurred in Loresho and Muthangare, particularly in the Kileleshwa Ring Road interchange region, which are considered wetland areas.
Additional flood-prone areas include Maziwa-Zimmerman along Kamiti Road, the River Bank area along Baba Dogo-Outer Ring Road, Lavington-Chalbi Drive, Garden Estate, Thome, Roysambu, Kahawa West, Donholm, Mbagathi/Langata Road Roundabout, Nairobi West, and Utawala.
Mr Simiyu said the disaster response team, assembled to tackle the flooding situation, is well-organized, with specific officers assigned to address various emerging issues throughout the El Nino period.
“We will have officers to handle specific tasks, be they logistics, emergency response, thematic response and others. We have come up with a structured plan between the National and County government that will focus on the humanitarian response aspect,” said the chief officer.
“What we’ve done is to cascade our response to the sub-counties and the reason we had these meetings with the joint DCCs and sub county admins is so that we can harmonise the structure at the sub-county level and to localise the marshall plan in the sub-counties.”
Simiyu also mentioned that the Nairobi County government is collaborating with the Meteorological Department to implement early warning systems aimed at preventing any loss of life or property.