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Water Resources Authority: Harvesting water and other flood preparedness activities

The rivers, dams and other water catchment areas are seemingly filled to capacity. With the continued heavy rainfall, the water has lacked reservoirs, therefore ending up in already filled water bodies resulting in breakage of banks of rivers and outpouring into the areas surrounding the lakes. The most affected are the Tana Region and Lake Victoria catchment areas, where lives and livelihoods have been lost and properties destroyed.

The Lake Victoria regions for instance are experiencing floods that some residents have described as the worst they have seen in many years. The backflow from the lake has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, having forced residents to flee their homes. River Nyando has broken its banks and submerged over 50 percent of Ahero Shopping centre. Other areas affected are Nanga, Kapuothe, Dunga and Lower Ratuoro areas. Around River Nzoia, Sifuyo residents have suffered victims of the floods.

With predictions that East Africa may still continue to experience heavy downpours, it is prudent that predictions on floods are enhanced and warnings given in proper time.

What to do

The Water Resources Authority (WRA) advises that this is the time to store water for future use. The rains which have come as a disaster to some might prove useful later in the year when the rains are gone. Therefore, the WRA, recommends that those who are in a position, especially irrigators, use this time to invest in water storage facilities. They can then store water enough to last as long as three months in these facilities for use during the dry season. The water and the floods have come eroding the soil, ending up destroying it further. The authority directs that people use this season to plant as many trees as they can. People can also engage in other soil saving activities such as building of gabions and sand dams, and terraces. However, even as people go about engaging in the mentioned activities, the WRA warns that individuals must watch out for flood alerts, mind their safety and remain cautious while around water resources. Those who live around rivers must observe a riparian distance of between six and thirty metres depending on the river depth.

Water Resources Authority is a state corporation established to regulate the management and use of water resources in the country mandated with:

Formulating and enforcing standards, procedures and regulations for the management and use of water resources and flood mitigation, and Providing information and advice for formulation of policy on national water resources management, water storage and flood mitigation.

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