Time to solve perennial flooding, once and for all

By Jane Beatrice Obila

Despite the benefits of rain in the lives of human beings and other living things like plants, it causes so much havoc when it rains too much and when there is apparent failure to plan and cushion the people from effects.

Cases of it killing, sweeping away people and destroying property worth millions of shilling have been reported in the country since the short rains started in March.

It is sad that in most of the rainy season, the aforementioned ordeal must re-occur, forcing the affected to find shelter in other places that are not conducive, hence vulnerability to other diseases. According to research done by John Yang in January 2023, cold weather can affect the human body’s immune response, making a person more susceptible to colds, flu and other upper respiratory infections.

Since the beginning of long rains this year, many people have been displaced by floods and are currently staying in churches and schools, disrupting their normal activities and lives.

What amazes one is that most of the leaders coming from these known regions with flood risks are doing nothing or very little to curb the menace- a reason we keep seeing people from those regions being affected yearly.

The government should work reduce the risk of flood by adapting strategies of building physical barriers like levees in areas where there are rivers to mitigate the risk. Other long term measures like building dams and adopting other mitigation strategies should also be adopted.  Different strategies can be put in place to curb floods even in places considered as flood-prone but nothing much has been done. In other developed countries, such risks are unheard of because of proper long term planning that guarantees sustainability in handling the risks.

Our leaders, whom we elected during elections, should work to ensure that the lives of the people who gave them power are safe. This can only happen when they help prevent such cases.

They were elected to represent their people well. It is sad that during campaigns, some of the things they have in their manifestos, they forget after clinching power.

Life has become difficult, especially after the prices of various commodities have shot up. It is even more difficult for people who depend on farming to put food on the table, as most of their crops have been destroyed by floods; a reason why the government must put in place measures to prevent flooding and reduce the effects in these areas.

As they do so, they should also offer essential services such as health and provide basic needs to individuals affected by floods in different parts of the country for their well-being.

Educating people from areas prone to floods of what they should do to avoid being displaced by the flood is also important. They can be advised where and how to build their houses and pieces of land set aside in higher grounds to ensure that all year round safety is achieved.

Let us use common techniques for flood control by installing rock berms, sandbags, applying soil cement on steeper slopes and constructing drainage channels to save lives and property.

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