Kenya – Number of Flood Deaths Rises to 186 After Highest Rainfall in 50 Years

The UN recently reported that the death toll from the flooding in Kenya now stands at 186, with as many as 800,000 people affected.

Kenya Meteorological Department said the rainfall in some areas is “the highest recorded in the last 50 years.”

Floods in Kenya, May 2018. Photo: Kenya Red Cross Society

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report of 07 June (pdf) that death toll from heavy rain and flooding across Kenya has risen to 186.

Citing figures from the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), OCHA added that an estimated 800,000 people have been affected by flooding. As many as 300,000 people have been displaced and nearly 100 injured, although many of those displaced have started to return home.

Heavy rain and flooding has affected the country since March this year. Further heavy rain fell through much of April and by the end of that month over 200,000 people had been displaced.

The March to May 2018 (MAM) seasonal rainfall at some stations, such as Narok, Eldoret-Kapsoya and Makindu, was the highest recorded in the last 50 years, according to the Kenya Meteorological Department.

The worst affected counties include Garissa, Isiolo, Kisumu, Mandera, Marsabit, Narok, Samburu, Taita-Taveta, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir and West-Pokot, according to Kenya’s National Disaster Operational Centre.

OCHA said that over 739 schools have closed temporarily due to floods, disrupting learning for more than 100,000 children, adding that “Children have been severely affected. There are reports of unaccompanied and separated children due to the floods and heightened protection risks for women and girls,”

“Health partners remain concerned regarding the increased risk of health emergencies, including cholera outbreaks in affected areas, due to poor sanitation and lack of access to clean water,” OCHA said.

Relief Efforts

OCHA indicates that 109,866 people have already received shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI) support, including through the distribution of temporary shelter materials, sleeping mats, blankets and cooking utensils from the KRCS and partners. A further 81,628 are being reached through ongoing interventions.

Following the collapse of the Solai Patel Dam, which caused loss of lives and homes, the KRCS disbursed cash to over 1,000 households. The cash will assist those affected to seek alternative shelter as they await reconstruction of their destroyed homes.

WASH projects for about 400,400 people in eleven counties (Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kisumu, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir) are ongoing.

Health organisations are reaching about 521,500 people in 26 counties though health interventions and support to county health departments, including provision of cholera rapid diagnostic test kits, cholera kits, equipment and supplies for managing cholera treatment centres, and mapping of cholera hotspots to enhance case management.

Flood disaster relief in Kenya, May 2018.
Flood disaster relief in Kenya, May 2018.
The Kenya Red Cross Society is providing emergency relief to thousands of people impacted by rising flood waters that continue to wreak havoc in many parts of Kenya. Kenya Red Cross Society is supporting a families with emergency shelter and household items.