The environmental and human disaster is looming in Budalangi, Busia county after Lake Kanyaboli in Siaya county burst its banks causing floods in the region.
The second largest Ox-bow lake in Africa could not hold its waters resulting in floods that submerged over 8,000 acres of farmland, homestead and schools.
The floods rendered roads impassable after washing away bridges at Ndekwe, Sidokho and Dolola rivers in Bunyala South and Bunyala Central wards respectively.
“We need the Military and National Youth Service to respond to this disaster immediately to avert more destruction considering that Busia and Siaya counties cannot manage this alone”Dr Otuoma
According to Busia governor Dr Paul Otuoma after touring the affected areas there is a need for immediate rehabilitation of the dykes bordering the lake.
Outuoma said this will help to control the flow of water downstream, adding that military and national youth service will intervene to offer solutions to avert disaster.
“We are happy that other agencies are coming in to assist us mitigate this situation. However, we will appreciate a long-term solution to end perennial floods.”Nev Davies
“We need the Military and National Youth Service to respond to this disaster immediately to avert more destruction considering that Busia and Siaya counties cannot manage this alone,” said Dr Otuoma.
Busia county commissioner who accompanied the governor during the tour promised that the national government will support the rehabilitation of the dykes by Agro Lake Limited, formerly Dominion Farms.
“This is an engineering nightmare and must be remedied as quickly as possible because downstream settlement and farmlands have been affected and upstream the lake is rescinding,” said Mr Ruto.
The commissioner assured the governor that he would link different agencies to try and address the situation.
However, the Members of the county Assembly of Busia from the affected wards reiterated that their efforts to rehabilitate the dyke were met with hostility.
Mr John Omumi (Bunyala central) and Mr Stephen Nasiagi (Bunyala south) said that the communities bordering Lake Kanyaboli only wanted the water drained to prevent their homes from being marooned.
“We anticipate the situation to worsen downstream if we don’t mitigate this disaster soon,” said Mr Omumi
Lake Agro Limited General Manager Mr Nev Davies lauded the governor and county leadership for their commitment to remedying the disaster.
“We are happy that other agencies are coming in to assist us mitigate this situation. However, we will appreciate a long-term solution to end perennial floods.”
Ibrahim Ogolla, an honorary Conservation Warden in Western Region, emphasised the need to conserve the ecosystem by ensuring the lake has a permanent inlet and outlet to control water flow.
“The lake is quickly draining out to Yala Swamp ecosystem which is home to millions of fauna, flora and other endangered animal species,” said Mr Ogolla.
“We call for an immediate remedy to prevent more losses.”
This come a few days before the team hosted a multi-agency meeting on Friday in an effort to find a lasting solution to the problem.