Thursday, May 10, 2012

Farmers suffer great losses as flash floods paralyze transport.

Farmers in Nguruman area are counting losses after their fresh produce failed to reach the targeted markets due to lack of transport. The produce which is picked thrice per week has not been picked up  for the last  four days and the farmers are worried that the situation may get worse after a truck ferrying export vegetables and a number of people from Nguruman sank in the middle of Lake Magadi today in the morning.

A vehicle ferrying fresh produce after it fell off the track.
(Photo by Dan Kivuva)
The incidence comes two days after Tata Chemicals closed all the roads that cross Lake Magadi following observations that the lake was flooding and increasingly dangerous to travelers and goods on transit.
Drivers and some passengers have been ignoring warnings by the Company and other people on the danger presented by the increasing rain especially on the road from Nguruman to Kiserian
‘That lake has been risky since the flooding started but people still insist on traveling past it. People should take this as a warning and thank God nobody got hurt’, Said Wairimu, a business woman at the Entasopia Market
With lack of preservative measures in Nguruman, the vegetables are either left to overgrow in the farms or picked and thrown away. Perishable farm goods that are being transported from Nguruman to markets in Kiserian and Nairobi and some for export have been spoiling since vehicles spent about two or three days crossing from Magadi to Kiserian.
Ripe paw paws at one of the farmers farm
‘Vehicles were not allowed past Magadi Township for the last three days’. Says Mr John, a farmer in Nguruman. ‘Our farm goods are getting spoiled on the road to the markets and others at our farms since transporters have to wait for the water that is blocking the road to clear or reduce’.

Passengers being rescued on top of a nissan matatu
 after it was submerged at Kamukuru
 (along Magadi - Kiserian road)

On Monday the 7th of May 2012 along Magadi road transport was temporarily paralyzed after raging floods swept off a bridge at Kamukuru.
Travelers were forced to spend the night on the road waiting for the water to subside as Ostrich Services; the only bus service from Nguruman was stuck in the middle of the road/river for two days.
The vehicles have to stop at the various spots where flood water covers the road and test the waters before making a decision to wait or to continue with the journey.
A number of schools in the area have extended their holiday for a week in order to allow students and teachers time to reach their schools. Secondary school students that have to travel past Magadi are not allowed by their parents to report due to the difficulties presented by the floods.

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