Thousands of Murang’a residents are facing danger after faults and fissures opened up following more than a month of heavy rain.
Many houses in higher areas are coming apart, as cracks widen beneath them. Experts say the problem is caused by intense cultivation of large areas, clearing of vegetation and destruction of forests.
There are not enough plants with deep roots to hold the soil together and during heavy rains the ground opens and landslides occur.
In neighbouring Kiriko-ini village, more than 200 families have been in danger since 2014 when the entire village developed cracks, some of which turned into streams. Over the years, the cracks have continued to widen but villagers refuse to relocate and lose their property.
Some reported springs of water forming inside and outside their homes. Houses collapsed due to earth movement.
“High populations have led to extreme land subdivision into many plots and this has put too much pressure on land. We need to leave some farm areas to natural vegetation to lessen the pressure,” Nema county director Ezra Ng’ang’a has said.
Ng’ang’a said damaged areas can only be salvaged in time by planting trees and other vegetation. Meantime, people should move, he said.
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