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Houses flooded in Ruiru

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Developers of an upcoming city, owned by the Kenyatta family in Ruiru, are on the spot after their dam caused rain water to flood homes in surrounding areas in the small hours of Thursday.

Northlands City, a mega urban development comprising of residential, industrial and commercial units, is being set up using water from Uhuru Dam, which is also called Sukari Dam.

There has been a simmering conflict between residents and owners of the project, conceived in 2016 and planned by Triad Architects, since 2015.

This was after the height of the wall at the dam’s spillway was raised to accommodate more water.

Ruiru residents stand outside their flooded homes on December 5, 2019. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NMG

According to residents, the raised wall was put their lives at risk and exposed their property to damage by floods.

“In our various meetings with you, we expressed our reservations on the ‘containment wall’ blocking storm water from our estate into the natural course, which is within your property,” the residents said in a letter dated September 17, 2015.

The protest letter was addressed to Northlands City under the care of Brookside Dairy, a milk processor owned by the Kenyatta family, and was received by a Ms Angela Kyungu on September 25, 2015.

“It (the wall) restricts the natural flow of the water thereby causing flooding in our estate during heavy raining periods,” the letter signed by Varsityville Residents Association Secretary Francis Kiarie adds.

Their fears were confirmed on Thursday morning when storm waters flooded their houses as they slept.

Homes surrounded by water on December 5, 2019. There has been a simmering conflict between residents and owners of the Northlands project belonging to the Kenyatta family. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NMG

One of the affected residents, Ms Caroline Gitari, told the Nation that their houses were flooded a few minutes after 1am.

“There is an obstruction that has forced water to flow into Varsityville estate and other surrounding areas,” she said.

She said she could count close to 10 houses that were affected by the raging waters.

“We have not slept. As we speak, we are stranded with children. Our houses are a big mess,” she added.

Varsityville estate in Ruiru. PHOTO | GOOGLE MAPS

According to the locals, the wall, which they say was erected without consultations, first caused floods in 2015 and it has remained a nightmare since.

“In the last rainy season (2015), flooding was experienced on the plots neighbouring your property,” the residents say in their letter.

“The few homes around here were greatly distressed by this abnormal flooding and we informed you this.”

Mr Kiarie asked Northlands City to “lower the spill way level and remove or improve what you are calling the containment wall so that we can revert to the conditions that pertained earlier or apply any other conditions that do not pose any threat of flooding to our homes”.

However, it is emerging that the developers of Northlands City and the dam owners did not take any action despite residents’ threat to hold them accountable for any damages caused by storm waters.

The dam is situated along the Eastern Bypass next to Brookside collection and cooling centre in Kiambu County. It is located about a kilometre Clay Works factory on Thika Road.

Once complete, the Kenyatta family-owned Northland City will sit on 11,800 acres of land and will accommodate an estimated 250,000 people working and living within its boundaries.

It will feature residential homes, recreation facilities, a stadium, commercial centres, industrial estates, farms, schools, civic buildings and hotels.

Recent heavy rains have caused flooding across the country with tens of thousands displaced and more than 100 dead.

Cars caught up in floods along Kangundo Road Bypass intersection on Thursday morning. PHOTO | COURTESY

River Sabaki in Kilifi County recently broke its banks thereby displacing about 1,000 people in Malindi and Magarini constituencies.

According to Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna, about 30,000 people have been affected by the heavy rains.

The meteorological department has issued flood alerts while urging Kenyans to be on the lookout for landslides and overflowing river banks.

nation.co.ke

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Kenyan doctor who tested positive for COVID-19 and her caring house help 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

When the former Kenya Medical Association (CEO) Amakove Wala received the news she had tested positive for COVID-19, she was thrown into a panic mode and worried about her babies.

To ensure her kid’s routine was not interfered with as she stayed in isolation, the doctor adopted the current mode of holding meetings online using Zoom to catch up with the young ones.

However, while documenting her experience on her a Facebook page, the medic could not hide her joy on Monday, August 3, as she finally came out of isolation feeling better.

Amakove was keen enough to also express gratitude to one person who played the crucial role of nursing her while she was in isolation – her longtime friend and househelp identified as Susan.

“I owe this lady my life. She risked her own health to nurse me. She endured stigma from neighbours,” she said.

According to Amakove, the househelp did not only nurse her but also counselled her children who did not understand what was happening to their mother and why she was isolating.

“She made all those concoctions that I had to drink. Thank you, Susan!” she said.

We have been through a lot the past nine years or so but on this, you have made me believe that good people still exist,” added Amakove.

The doctor discharged herself from isolation after 12 days of not displaying any COVID-19 related symptoms including chills, fever and muscle aches for three consecutive days.

“I am done with this nasty bug. I have gained my freedom. I have discharged myself from home based care,” said Amakove.

“I could not have done it without all your support. Thank you! I have been to hell and back. isolation is the worst form of human torture in my opinion,” she added.

Amakove was among over 600 medics who are reported to have contracted the virus while a number of healthcare workers have succumbed to complications caused by the disease.

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I did not sleep in my home, Sakaja says as he dares police to arrest him 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja on Tuesday, August 4, dared those attempting to arrest him to go ahead and put him behind bars.

Sakaja speaking at the Senate stated that he was ready to sleep in a cell after he had cast his vote over the County Revenue Allocation formula debate.

“I was in Senate from 5:30 am and stayed in my car till midday to avoid arrest. Please go ahead and arrest me. I am not one to be intimidated, since I have cast my vote,” he declared.

The Senator referred to various incidences including being trailed by the police, and proceeding reports of his impending arrest and alleged sponsored hashtags aimed at making him change his vote in the revenue sharing formula.

The Nairobi representative faulted the party for threatening to de-whip members who had not towed the party line.

When Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata stood to explain the disciplinary position, Sakaja from his bench shouted him down.

“Senator Sakaja is entitled to security and government does not support actions geared towards threatening his security. We had a Jubilee PG and some members did not attend, including Sakaja. Therefore, he should not mislead the house,” the Murang’a Senator stated.

The Senate voted to postpone the County Revenue Allocation formula debate once again.

This was after Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen rose, Pursuant to Senate Standing Order 105, seeking adjournment of the debate on the Motion for the Approval of the Third Basis for Revenue Allocation Among Counties.

34 senators voted to adjourn the motion against 26 who opposed its adjournment. One senator was absent.

Sakaja who confessed that he had not slept in his own house the night before as banners cropped up on bridges in Nairobi roads albelling him a traitor.

“Sakaja is a traitor. You do not represent Mandera, represent us, Nairobi,” read a message on one of the posters.

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Chebet Ronoh opens up on rare medical condition, quitting radio 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Comedian and YouTuber Deborah Chebet Ronoh has for the first time opened up on having panic attacks after getting famous, and her silent exit from NRG Radio.

Ronoh said that she was excited about her radio job but she got to a point where she felt overwhelmed and wasn’t giving it her all and so she decided to quit.

She explained that she was not mentally prepared for her fast rise to fame and this in some way led her to experiencing anxiety. whenever she was around people.

“I left Brookhouse for my radio job. I was so excited about my first job and things were so great everything was happening so fast and like everyone knew me and I didn’t actually mentally prepare myself.

“So I was on radio when I felt like I was unhappy, I felt like I didn’t really want to do it at that time in my life. It reached a point I felt I wasn’t giving it my everything and also it was a bit overwhelming for me and I started to get anxiety a lot because I didn’t know that I was known. Like I’d walk outside,” she said.

Ronoh explained that as she grew famous, and people got to know her, the more she experienced anxiety and panic attacks and this would happen even when fans said Hi to her whenever they met.

When she attended events, the comedian said she would drink herself stupid to calm herself down, in order to be comfortable around people.

“A lot of people especially older than me would stop me on the road and that began to give me anxiety. I didn’t know it was anxiety until I realized people would Hi and I panic. I just used to get a lot of anxiety, it was so bad that I would literally breathe so heavily when I go out. I used to even drink so much so that I could be comfortable around people,”

“It was so bad and I had feel like a lot of pressure from external and I lost a lot of my realest friends. A lot of people who supported and knew me before I got here. They got tired and that hit me so hard,” stated Ronoh.

According to the comedian, she quit her radio job to focus on herself as a brand which also proved difficult because she had already lost friends, and those who pretended to care and supporting her had also gone.

“When I quit my radio job, I wanted to focus on Ronoh but that was hard because a lot people were leaving me I didn’t have friends,” she said.

Ronoh noted that she felt owned by people because everything she did was criticized and this only discouraged her, and further broke her down, but all that is now in the past and she is coming back, a new Chebet Ronoh.

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