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Two teens swept by flooded rivers in Nyanza

NATION TEAMBy NATION TEAM
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Residents of two villages in Nyanza region were yesterday searching for the bodies of two minors who drowned while trying to cross flooded rivers as heavy rains continue to pound parts of the country.

One of the minors, a 13-year-old boy in Homa Bay County, died after a boat he was travelling in was hit by strong waves.

The Radienya Primary School pupil was among five occupants of the boat which they were using to cross a flooded section of River Kuja in Manyuru Village, West Kabuoch location, Ndhiwa Sub-county, on Tuesday evening.

SEARCH FOR BODY

Area chief Joseph Ogur said the boy could not swim when the boat was hit by waves, but the other occupants swam to safety.

By Wednesday afternoon, the teenager’s body had not been found, with locals calling on the government to help them in the search.

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The second minor died in Nyatike, Migori Count, where floods have swept through villages, rendering tens of families homeless. Many victims are seeking refuge in churches and at chiefs camps.

The 13-year-old boy was swept away by the raging waters of River Migori. The search for his body entered the third day Wednesday.

And in Siaya County, an MP was among flood victims counting losses after floods swept away his fish ponds worth Sh3 million.

Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda and other residents had their acres of farmland and grazing fields in Usigu division submerged. In East Gem ward, the Ramula-Bar-Kalare Road was rendered impassable after a bridge was swept away on Sunday.

In western region, waterlogged sugar cane fields and damaged feeder roads disrupted milling as factories grappled with shortage of raw material in their catchments.

Sugar millers are unable to access farms in lowlands to ferry cane for crushing due to damaged roads.

The affected factories include Busia Sugar Company, West Kenya Sugar Company, Nzoia Sugar Company and Butali Sugar Mills.

Nzoia Sugar Company is closed for routine maintenance but the miller is planning to resume crushing two weeks after the repairs, according to MD Wanjala Makokha.

In Busia County, residents of Budalang’i blamed the government for the flooding that has hit the region.

Rehabilitation of dykes along River Nzoia stalled last month due to heavy rains, although some areas could not be worked on due to a compensation row between the National Land Commission (NLC) and residents who surrendered their land to the government.

Busia director for meteorological services Benjamin Bahati said the Red Level severe flood warning applies to Climate Zone 1, specifically Budalang’i floodplain.

In Naivasha, residents of Kinangop farm in Eburu raised concern over a dam that started leaking.

The 20ft deep Jaika dam started leaking on Monday night, forcing some residents to flee the area.

Unicef said in a statement that it had distributed supplies in affected counties.

Reported by George Odiwuor, Ian Byron, Dickens Wasonga, Benson Amadala, Gaitano Pessa and Phyllis Musasia