Flooding in Kenya has affected more than 160,000 people since the onset of the short rains in October, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS).
At least 120 people have reportedly died, including dozens who lost their lives after a landslide in West Pokot County on 23 November.
KRCS said that nearly 18,000 who are displaced countrywide, including 10,000 in West Pokot County. According to Kenyan government, 16,000 houses have been destroyed across the country.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reports that flash and riverine floods have affected at least 31 of the 47 Kenya’s counties, including in Central, Coastal, Eastern, Northern, Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western regions, and urban areas in Nairobi and Mombasa, according to the Government’s National Disaster Operation Centre (NDOC).
Landslides and mudslides have been reported in Meru, Murang’a, Taita Taveta and West Pokot counties, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS).
Infrastructure including roads and bridges has been damaged, hampering effective humanitarian response efforts in affected areas. UN OCHA said: “Sections of roads and bridges have been cut-off, paralyzing transport and humanitarian access in Embu, Garissa, Isiolo, Kwale, Lamu, Machakos, Makueni, Mandera, Marsabit, Meru, Mombasa, Samburu, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Trans Nzoia, Turkana and Samburu counties. The Gurdis and Botula dams in Banisain Mandera County broke their walls or banks and require urgent repairs.”
Recent flooding has been reported in Bute and Gurar in Wajir County, where around 5,000 people have been displaced.
Flooding also affected over 3,000 people in Garissa and Tana River counties after heavy rains on 22 and 23 November led to massive flooding in the area, exacerbated by the bursting of Tana River. In Meru County at least 550 people were reportedly displaced in Tigania.
According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, heavy rains are expected to continue across the country over the next few weeks, mainly due to the positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) measurements.
Flood alerts have been issued especially for Coastal, Northern and Western regions of the country, with the risk of landslides and mudslides expected in parts of the Central Highlands and parts of the Rift Valley, including West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nandi counties.