• May 23, 2024
  • Last Update May 23, 2024 12:57 AM
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Heavy rains wreak havoc at a National Tree planting site in West Pokot

Heavy rains wreak havoc at a National Tree planting site in West Pokot

Kapenguria

Saturday May 11, 2024

KNA by Richard Muhambe

The venue for tree planting in West Pokot to mark National tree planting day officiated by Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha that had been arranged at ELCK Chepkalit Mixed Secondary School and Primary School was destroyed by heavy rains which flooded parts of the schools and cut off the road.

The exercise however went on as scheduled but the CS and her entourage had to walk for about two kilometres wading through flowing water and mud that had destroyed the road to the schools.

The team that had targeted to plant over 25,000 trees had to plant less than the expected number because of the difficulties in accessibility to the venue.

“We were meant to plant 25,000 trees today but we only managed about 15,000 which is below our target for today. You can attest to the struggles we had to undergo to access this place.

This shows how deforestation is costing us and flooding is real,” said the CS adding that they had left tree seedling to be planted later by the schools and the surrounding community.

According to residents, the rains started at night accompanied with thunderstorms then loud bangs and what they felt were earth tremors only to wake up in the morning to find the schools destroyed and the road to the institutions barricaded with huge stones and uprooted trees.”We are lucky no one lost their life but we are scared.

You can see even the school bus cannot get out of our school because the road has been cut off and turned into a flowing river.

One of the schools’ toilets has been destroyed and we even fear for the opening of the schools if the rains continue to pound,” said Charles Lemangole, a resident and neighbour to the school.

He confirmed that the area had experienced the flooding because the slopes in the locality have suffered a lot of deforestation.

He said the move by the government to restore forests is highly welcome and more trees should be planted because they have been acting as buffer zones reducing the water speeds and possible flooding.

CS Nakhumicha urged the residents to join the government in increasing the tree cover within the area and at the same time cautioning them to avoid risky behaviours like that of crossing flooded areas with the fear of having to get home late.

“If your partner fails to get home as expected because they have been blocked by floods, please just understand they might be doing that for their safety.

We have lost lives because some people want to get home for fear of victimisation,” advised the Health CS.

Nakhumicha said she will liaise with her education counterpart Ezekiel Machogu to see if the opening dates for the two schools can be adjusted calling on the schools’ administrations and the community to come up with ways of ensuring the safety of their children.

The CS donated Sh100,000 towards the reconstruction of the toilets that had been ravaged by the floods.By close of business on Friday afternoon, the road to the school was resembling a water stream.

Area Member of the County Assembly (Tapach Ward) Samuel Timtim Korinyang arrived late for the function saying he had been barred from accessing the area because he had been blocked by the floods, mentioning that a farmer from his area had lost a flock of sheep to the Thursday night floods.

“We fully support the government’s drive to plant more trees. This tragedy is as a result of the reducing number of trees in our area,” he observed. Photo Caption1.

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha arrives for the National Tree Planting at Chepkalit Primary and Secondary Schools.

Courtesy of KNA

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