Kenya – Hundreds of Families Displaced by Flooding in Western Counties

One person has died and hundreds of families have been displaced after flooding in western Kenya.

Floods in western Kenya, March 2020. Photo; Kenya Red Cross

Kenya Red Cross reports that ongoing heavy rains in western Kenya have affected over 20 villages in Busia, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay and Kisumu.

“As we continue to tackle the COVID 19 pandemic, the March-May long rains have begun causing havoc in various places already,” the Red Cross said via Social Media. Response teams are assessing needs on the ground so as to provide support.

One of the worst hit areas is Budalang’i in Busia County. The local Member of Parliament, Raphael Wanjala , called for assistance on 28 March. Local media reported that at least 500 families in Budalang’i have been forced to move to higher ground.

Flooding has also affected other areas of western Kenya, including Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu and Siaya counties, blocking roads, damaging homes and causing further displacements. According to media reports, 1 person died when he was swept away by flood waters in Rarieda, Siaya County on 28 March. Images on Social Media showed extremely high levels of the Ayweyo river in Kisumu County.

Further heavy rain is expected. In its forecast for 31 March to 06 April, 2020, Kenya Met Department warned that “heavy cumulatively rainfall above 70 mm is expected over some parts of Taita Taveta , Kilifi, Lamu, Kwale and Kitui Counties.”

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