Kenya has been experiencing floods for as long as it can remember. Whenever floods hit the country, lives are lost and property worth billions is destroyed. How can Kenya and Kenyans avoid these perennial floods and save lives and property?
The heavy rainfall experienced in the last few weeks that has caused the tragic loss of lives, livelihoods, and property has exposed how climate change is severely affecting Kenya’s weather patterns and why we should catalyze action in 2022 to begin managing the floods menace.
Kenya’s annual rainfall is distributed three-fold. These include the long rainfall season between March and April, the intermediate season (July and August), and the short rainfall season (October up to December).
Treasury cabinet secretary Ukur Yatani while reading the national budget in June highlighted that flood mitigation is a key focus in the 2021/2022 fiscal year and that is why the Ministry allocated Ksh38 billion for water and sewerage infrastructure development, Ksh 16.4 billion for water resources management and Ksh 10.8 billion for water storage and flood control.
The private sector and development agencies are equally committing to playing their part in flood mitigation as seen by recent investments such as the Ksh7.5 billion Kajulu Water Treatment Plant in Kisumu County.
The project, which also involves the French Development Agency, European Investment Bank, and the European Union-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund as partners, will see the construction of 120km of water supply in the city and its environs.
In addition to clean water supply and sanitation, flood mitigation is another benefit of the project. These public and private funds if utilized well will enable controlling the perennial flooding by implementing flood mitigation measures including installing infrastructure to manage storm runoff.
Megapipes Solutions Ltd, a Ruiru-based company, is set to play a pivotal role in managing floods through its offering by manufacturing Weholite HDPE. Weholite pipes use patented technology that has been instrumental in the delivery of quality, affordable and durable piping.
Weholite pipes are light and are therefore easily transported to the Jobsite and they can be installed quickly, even in poor ground conditions.
Apart from direct jobs to the community, staff will be trained to operate cutting-edge technology using international best practices, thus ensuring the business becomes a World-class manufacturing facility. In fact, the most sophisticated Weholite plant anywhere on the globe.
It is also important that we consider using Weholite to construct buried drainage channels with pedestrian walkways on top. This would be a major policy change from the traditional open concrete channels that are prevalent around the country. During heavy rains, these channels cause havoc in urban areas, forcing pedestrians onto the roads, slowing traffic, and causing major accidents with potentially fatal consequences.
Beyond piping, Weholite can also be used for manufacturing a plethora of water management and storage products, all of which are greatly needed in urban and rural areas.
As we are settling into the new year, let 2022 be the year that we finally begin to manage to flood so that we can save lives, livelihoods, and property.