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Governor James Orengo has lauded the governments efforts towards controlling floods through dykes.

The dykes were the reason why Siaya and Ugenya have experienced limited floods distress.

“Siaya that was previously on the map due to floodings but this time it has not featured prominently in this year’s devastating floods that wreaked havoc across Kenya between March and June.

The maize, sorghum and other crops flourish on reclaimed farmlands, effectively relegating tales of food shortage and displacements to the past.

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Hundreds of people from Siaya among them farmers in Usonga are a happy lot.

Orengo who toured the previous flooding sites noted that Siaya is safe.

“Only few crops are destroyed by limited flooding in Siaya.

“I toured Siaya on Friday and managed to distribute food items to few households affected by flooding.”

Jerry Odhiambo of the National Water and Pipeline Corporation says strategies used to ensure the dykes were flood-proof included raising some to five metres high at strategic points, while maintaining their width at 3.7 metres.

“Measures against seepage control have stopped the gushing of water below the dykes back into the waterways that causes damage to crops and settlement areas,” Mr Odhiambo said.

“We have demonstrated to the whole world that dykes can work perfectly if properly constructed,” he says, adding that there are no more cases of homes being marooned or people being evacuated.

The dykes have been built 50meters from the banks of River Nzoia, a strategy Mr Odhiambo says is meant to prevent them from being weakened by high pressure.

And incidents of malaria, bilharzia and other diseases that once debilitated residents have reduced, says Siaya health executive Martin K’Onyango.

“Constant trips by residents to hospital due to malaria have reduced significantly,” says Odhiambo

Meanwhile Usonga and Ugenya residents are a relieved lot in this era of floodings as dykes that were previously built by government has completely controlled the waters.

Previously, heavy rainfall caused River Nzoia and Yala to bursts their banks causing floods in homes.

Ochieng Stephen, a resident of Usonga location who sits barely 100 metres from River Nzoia is not worried by the heavy rains witnessed in the country.

Ochieng who is a carpenter at Nyadorera center says by now his family could have been camping at a rescue centre, something that had been a routine perennially.

Though the heavy downpour from upstream caused a ripple effect on the down stream and it brought torrents of tears, not just to residents of Buhowa, and parts of Usonga but to hundreds of households.

Ochieng flashed back on those agonising days and nights.

“We had to camp by the roadside and Sidundo schools which were on raised grounds,” he added.

“The construction of dykes is now paying  dividends and there are limited stresses,” said Ochieng.

Hunger was a perpetual part of  lives of residents of Usonga, West Alego and parts of Ugenya.

Not anymore. This time, every raindrop is greeted with joy. As recent flash floods ravaged the rest of the country the people of these locality are looking forward to a bumper harvest.

The unflinching dykes, the workmanship of Chinese Sino Hydro Corporation helped to restore the situation.

“We are now looking forward to the future full of hope. People found undermining the dykes for selfish reasons must be dealt with firmly,” Ochieng added.

The project worth billions that were jointly funded by the Government and the World Bank is an engineering marvel of work. The area once ravaged by incessant floods that not only displaced residents annually but rendered agriculture a futile venture is now thriving.

 

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