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Prepare for floods, disease outbreaks as short rains intensify, Met official warns

The Kitui meteorological office has expressed fears that the current El NiƱo driven heavy rains currently pounding Kitui would cause floods, disease outbreaks and disaster.
Kitui County Director of Meteorological Services Daniel Mbithi addressing the media in a past function.|MWINGI TIMES

Spelling out the flip-side of the heavy rains, county meteorological services director, Daniel Mbithi, asked the populace to be cautious and  prepare for any eventuality. 

On Tuesday Mbithi sent out an advisory to residents to invoke mitigation measures against diseases and disasters associated with the heavy rains for the next two months.
“From now going forward, and in the next two months, our biggest challenge will be how to manage flash floods, waterborne diseases, water related disasters,” said Mbithi.

In a post he made on a weather and rainfall updates on WhatsApp platform for farmers, agricultural officers and residents at large, Mbithi added that   water-logging in farms and short dry spells will also be experienced.
The weatherman  them concluded his post  with a caution in Kiswahili; watu wajipange!!! (People must be well prepared). In response to Mbithi’s post, Dr Peter Kithuka, a senior veterinarian at the County Government of Kitui, added that the rains were likely to cause the outbreak of livestock vector borne diseases like the fatal  Rift Valley Fever. 

The vet expert said Kitui livestock keepers must be on the look-out for symptoms of RVF such as sudden onset and high morbidity in sheep, goats, cattle and camels. He said the fatal zoonosis also manifests in mass abortions in pregnant animals and body  weakness, bloody diarrhea (dysentery)and mass deaths in young animals.

The caution on the adverse impact of the heavy rains came on the heels of a revelation by Kitui Deputy Governor, Augustine Kanani, that lives have already been lost and homes swept away by floods.
“I am in charge of emergencies and disaster management. We must as much as  we can avoid flirting rain water. Already people have drowned in Kitui West and Mwingi Central,” lamented Kanani

He was speaking on Monday at Kyamusivi Primary school in Mbitini Ward of Kitui County after joining the CS for Tourism, Dr Alfred Mutua,  during the planting  of trees at Mbitini hills to mark the national tree planting day on Monday. 

The  deputy governor  further added that  17  families in Karung’a village in Kivou Ward of Mwingi Central were left destitute after their houses were flattened and swept away by flash floods.
“I appeal that people must be aware of dangers of rain waters. There  should be no crossing swollen rivers. Give the floods a few minutes to subside then you proceed to your destination,” said Kanani.


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