Flash flooding is a serious risk in Nairobi during the twice yearly rainy season. New developments increase the run off from extreme rainfall events and also restrict the downstream capacity for rivers and culverts.
Devastating floods in 2015 affected Nairobi Airport’s ‘African Freight Services’ facility. The flooding had destroyed goods in storage and transit, as well as X-Ray machines, materials handling equipment and electrical installations, and future contracts required measures installed to prevent re-occurrence.
Flood Control International was commissioned to design, supply and install a full Flood Protection Solution to the airport facility. The whole perimeter was to be protected to 1.2m in height. A specialised design was required to ensure the facility operations were not disrupted. A large number of obstructions such as the materials handling equipment that extended through most openings meant that tolerances were tight with many specialised supports. Due to the large number of openings that would require protection against flash flooding, where partial or full height protection could be semi-permanently installed, this was proposed to reduce the manual effort and time to get the building initially protected then fully protected.
Semi-permanent beams were installed below the level of the freight cargo roller-decks where access was not required, which could be raised as required. This allowed for a phased installation plan.
A 5-man installation team was sent from the UK to install the flood barriers in October 2016. All 36-barriers – the widest being 15metres wide – were installed, checked and approved over a 5 day period. The client staff – as well as workers and visitors to the site were impressed with the quality, strength and ease of use of the flood barriers. A video was made with local staff showing the installation and removal of the barriers for future personnel training, before the systems were removed from areas where access was required and stored.
The hundreds of tonnes of sandbags that had been temporarily placed or stored next to each of the openings prior to the delivery and installation of the flood barrier systems could now be removed leaving a clean smart building once more with maximum operational areas.