Cracks, fissures emerge in Murang’a rendering scores homeless

Remains of what was once a farmland in Murang'a after a landslide. []

Following a month-long heavy downpour in the country, thousands of Murang’ residents risk being rendered homeless after cracks and fissures emerged in their farms.

Houses built on high areas have been torn apart as the faults continue to widen beneath them.

In the past years, cracks have formed in different part of the county but residents have remained adamant to relocate. This is despite the fact that springs of water form in and outside their homes as the cracks continue to widen.

So far, 50 people from Gitugi in Mathioya have been displaced as landslides destroyed homes. The situation is no different in Inoi village, Kahuro where large cracks have emerged according to the Star.

Last month, four family members perished in a landslide in this area.

Worst-hit areas are Gitugu and Kayu areas where wide fault lines have developed on farmlands promoting villagers to flee for safety.

In Kiharu constituency, fissures have developed in Koimbi and Gikandu areas.

Experts say that the fissures and cracks have been aggravated by intense cultivation by human beings where vegetation has been cleared and forest degraded.

Due to these activities, soil cover is lost and makes the area prone to landslides during a heavy downpour.

NEMA county director Ezra Ng’ang’a said earth movements which have caused the faults and fissures are to be blamed on extreme human activities.

“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,” he said.

He advised that areas affected should have more trees planted to hold the loose soil together.

Murang’a becomes the second region in the country after Rift Valley to develop fissures.

In Rift Valley, it began at Suswa where Narok-Mai-Mahiu road was cut by a deep fissure that has bow spread to Naivasha and further to Menengai located in the outskirts of Nakuru Town.