Chimoroni residents in Malava told to relocate to avert losses from landslides
Written by Rosemary Wachiye
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PANIC swept through Malava district Thursday evening to Friday noon as a landslide (shown in picture) was reported at Chimoroni village on the Nandi escarpments with many fearing there could be deaths and massive property destruction.
However, as at Friday evening, no casualties had been reported leave for destruction of farm crops at the affected area.
The fear was occasioned by past landslides that claimed lives and destroyed property as the residents recalled such incidences way back from 1956 and as recent as 2007 where another landslide was reported at neighboring Kubasali Village that claimed lives.
The residents of Chimoroni Sub-location, Kabras Division, Malava District said they were ready to relocate to safer places as they feared for their lives and called on the government to assist in the process as a permanent solution is sought.
Moving away from their ancestral land may not be an option to them should the government show and allocate them a safer place, they said.
However, while he addressed the residents, Kakamega North District Commissioner Mr. Gideon Ombongi said the government does not have the money to do so.
Kakamega North DC Mr. Gideon Ombongi addressing Chimoroni residents after a landslide occurred in the area. [PHOTO|Rosemary Wachiye|West Fm]
He nonetheless asked them to relocate so as to avoid loss to life and property should such incidences occur in the future.
Mr. Ombongi revealed that there had been previous landslides of similar magnitude and nature in the area, stating that there was need for the residents to seek refuge elsewhere on time before the worst could strike.
The administrator attributed the landslide to falling down of trees in the region as the larger part of the area was plain as farmers had cleared the place for farming and settlement.
“These landslides have majorly been brought about by the farmers in the region who had resorted in cutting down trees for firewood, clearing land for farming and settlement and it’s now an open land that pause a challenge to erosion and such landslides,” said Mr. Ombongi.
He also blamed the high population growth rate that had caused the people to move more close to the hills as they seek for more land for settlement as well as farming.
Ombongi has called on the residents to plant more trees in the upper area of the escarpment to prevent more hazardous situations and reduce the risk of continuous landslides and erosion at the hilly villages.