Government told to provide funds for the rehabilitation of dykes in Budalangi
Written by Frankline Bwire and Cajetan Okondo
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A section of River Nzoia in MauMau area which river training has been done to allow the river flow straight. Photos/ Frankline Bwire.
The government has been urged to provide additional funding for the rehabilitation exercise of dykes in Budalang’i constituency as heavy rains continue to pound several parts of the country.
National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation’s site agent in Budalang’i constituency Lucy Mbuthia revealed that from the budget proposal of Sh 150 million presented to the government for the exercise, they only received Sh 40 million which is quite little for the work expected to be done.
Mbuthia said the government should consider providing the difference to ensure the activities of mitigating floods in the area are undertaken to the maximum.
“The dykes should be raised to 3metres high, but due to inadequate funds, we have been forced to raise them to 2meters high which is a serious risk to the residents,” she said, adding that they have been forced to squeeze the budget to fit the amount received.
Speaking to journalists at Busagwa area after inspecting the dyke, the corporation’s site agent said they had sealed 11 complete breaches and several partial on the Southern dyke besides raising parts that have been overtopped by water from the river.
She said that besides raising the dyke level, they have also undertaken several activities among them river training and seepage control along prioritized sections at both northern and southern dyke.
“We have undertaken the vital activities required which also include bush clearing, planting of approved grass on both the inner and outer toes of the dyke and reinforcement of the dyke at Nanjomi, Galani, Khainga, Subuka, Rugunga and Siginga,” said Mbuthia.
The corporation’s officer in charge of flood control Engineer Simon Mbugua said he was satisfied that the repair works were done professionally, adding that people in the area will be sufficiently protected from the floods.
“The work done is of quality and I am happy to say that already the area residents have started constructing houses at their homes where the floods had ejected them,” he said.
Elsewhere in a workshop in Budalang’I, Bunyala District, the Disaster management team from Kakamega met consultants from ATKINS firm based in England to share some of the possible interventions on phase one on flood management process.
National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation’s site agent in Budalang’i constituency Lucy Mbuthia. She says there is need for the government to provide additional funds.
The workshop chaired by Head of disaster management team Mr. Evans Sena, engineer John Astrey and Joe Chell both from Atkins firm, John Mango BUCODEV and local stakeholders from the district.
Thomas Mango disclosed that it was better to construct new dykes instead of renovating the current dyke that seems to be already weak to withstand the pressure from the river.
He reiterated that if the government wants to evacuate people along the dyke, it is better they look for better place and compensated measurably but not damping them in the camps.
Engineer Joe Chell disclosed that, some of the alternative intervention was to Improve flood conveyance to make it easier for floods to pass between dykes and Lake Victoria, Flow management that is controlled release to historical or new management, Improve embankment by repairing, improve or to replace the dyke.
“Some of causes of floods are dyke crest level dropping done by settlement, peaks of floods having increased due to expansion of the river, rising channel level due to sediments between dykes, floods size exceeding the original level,” said engineer Joe.
John Astrey also chief consultant, who managed to control floods in Bangladesh, proposed the development of the existing floods improvement to calibrate the model therefore, asking the community to stop developing along the river areas.
Report 2011 on floods says that, the floods covered the whole of Bunyala South, Nyadorera town in Usonga location and lower Samia and Ugenya district. More than 40,000 people were affected by water floods, but 20,000 from Bunyala District. Mau Mau alone had only 1500 people affected. Damage at National Irrigation board was about 130 million worth cost property damaged.