Floods sweep snakes into homes in Busia

Residents of Mudende village in Bunyala, Busia County, are living in fear of snake bites after the reptiles, carried by flood waters, invaded their homes.

Families who have not moved out of their abandoned homes have reported an increase in the number of snakes threatening their lives.

Florence Akinyi, a resident, said they encountered snakes of different types and sizes on a daily basis.

“It is only by the grace of God that we live. We have seen black mambas, green mambas, cobras, you name it. We are scared,” said Akinyi.

Akinyi is one of a group of residents who have refused to heed calls by the authorities for villagers to leave their flooded homes and seek refuge on higher ground.

Akinyi and her neighbours claim they have been forced to stay put to protect their property from marauding thieves.

“There are people who visit the abandoned houses at night and cart away household items,” she said.

Oscar Wambia, a resident of Mudambi village, said this was the first time they had experienced flooding in the area.

“Our farms, houses and even the police post in Mudembe have been submerged,” said Wambia.

Residents are worried that their children will not be able to attend school when it reopens next week.

“As it is now, we cannot access the market or our neighbours’ houses because they are all submerged,” said Wambia.

Charles Okumu is already planning to build a third house after two of his previous houses were destroyed by the perennial flooding.

In 2017, Okumu built a house worth Sh350,000 in Mudembe village.

The house was washed away by the waters during the heavy rains in 2019.

He would invest in another house, costing him Sh450,000, which he believed would not be affected by the floods because it was built on higher ground.

“I have exhausted all my savings and have nothing to build another house in case the floods destroy this one too,” said Okumu.

Residents are now calling on the government to construct dykes along the Nzoia River to cope with the losses caused by the flooding.

A total of 786 families have been affected by the floods and the number is expected to rise as the rains intensify.

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