Ijara – Ijara Constituency, located in Garissa County, has been hit by a severe weather event that caused over 24 hours of heavy rainfall, resulting in significant road damage and transportation disruption.
According to Kenya News Agency, chairman of the Masalani watchdog CBO, residents are urging both national and county governments to allocate emergency funds for road repairs and environmental mitigation. The sustained rainfall, which is believed to be driven by the El Niño phenomenon, has caused the road towards Hola to become inaccessible, stranding vehicles that frequent the Garissa-Hola road and those coming from the coastal roads of Mombasa, Malindi, and Garsen at Boji in Tana River County.
Local leadership, including Ijara MP Abdi Ali Sheikhow, Garissa Senator Abdul Mohamed Haji, Garissa Governor Nadhif Jama, as well as organizations such as the Kenya Red Cross, Kesho Alliance, National Drought Management Authority, and Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, have been called upon by residents to provide assistance. This call to action includes requests for disaster management resources and relief food to lessen the impact on affected communities.
The Kenya Meteorological Department had not previously identified Ijara as a potential hotspot for such intense rainfall. The entire constituency, spanning 480 km from Garissa through Masalani to Ijara town, Sangailu, Galmagala in Fafi constituency, and onto Hulugho sub County bordering Somalia, is struggling with accessibility issues.
Local officials, including Ijara Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Wachira Chamtpon, Hulugho counterpart Mr. David Luka, and Bothai sub County Assistant County Commissioner Mr. Chana Marka, have stated that many roads remain impassable as the rains continue. The severity of the situation was further highlighted by the necessity to deliver KCPE and KAPSEA examination scripts by helicopter to Hulugho, Bodhai, and Ijara sub-counties. This follows a tragic incident last week where three Kenya Police Reservists were killed by suspected militia in the Nanighi area of Fafi constituency and two GSU officers were fatally injured by an IED, set by Al-Shabaab militants, which detonated under their vehicle while escorting examination papers.