Five flood check dams and three water pans will be completed this week on the outskirts of Narok town as the flood prone county prepares for the El Nino rains.
Speaking during an inspection tour of the construction sites yesterday, Narok County Governor Samuel Tunai said the dams and water-pans will hold back about 80 percent of the flood waters that typically threatens the town during the rainy season.
The Governor also announced that an additional ten water pans will be completed within the week further upstream of the flood path that leads into Narok town.
Existing flood paths through the town are also being widened and deepened to further ease the flow of water. Work on reinforcing the huge trenches with concrete was ongoing as the press joined the Governor on the inspection tour.
The town’s drainage system, particularly along the town's main road, has also been redone after the floods that ravaged the town in April this year. Over 15 people perished at the time after floods swept away cars and destroyed buildings.
The governor was accompanied by the new Narok County Commissioner, Afande Mutindika and a host of MCAs and other local leaders.
The construction of the dams and water-pans is being undertaken jointly by the County Government of Narok and the national government in what marks a landmark in the prevention of floods in Narok. Unlike in the past when flood prevention was limited to clearing the flood paths, a joint committee of the national and county government settled on control dams and water pans as a way of taming the flood waters before they reach the town.
Following expert advice from the committee, the County Government set aside Ksh200 million to construct a chain of dams and water pans in all the flood prone areas of the county. The first five dams and three water-pans have been constructed specifically in anticipation of the heavy rains expected from the imminent El Nino rains.
A proposal to relocate the town to higher grounds was shelved after it become clear that it was not only uneconomical and likely to take years but also unnecessary.
Governor Tunai also called on residents of Narok town and other parts of the county that are known to be prone to flooding such as Suswa and Nairagie-Enkare to be cautious and take all necessary measures to avoid being caught in the floods. While assuring his constituents that the check dams and water-pans will hugely reduce the impact of flooding in Narok, he noted that it was still unclear how serious the El Nino will be. He asked all those at risk to temporarily move to safer areas and keep their livestock and other possessions away from flood paths.