Kenya – More Than 100 Dead as Floods and Landslides Continue

As many as 164 people have lost their lives in floods and landslides in Kenya since April, a government minister has said.

Floods in Busia County, Kenya in May 2020. Photo: Government of Kenya

The flood situation continues to worsen, with as many as 40,000 people displaced by flooding from the overflowing Nzoia river in Busia and Siaya counties. Flooding has also affected parts of Kilifi and Turkana counties over the last few days, and heavy rain has triggered landslides in Kisii County.

Dr. Asha Mohammed, Secretary-General of the Kenya Red Cross said: “Roads are cut, bridges have been destroyed, access to health facilities is becoming a challenge.”

The Secretary-General added, “shelter is a big priority, people need to be given a place to stay to shield them from the continued rains.”

In Kilifi County, hundreds of families in Malindi and Magarini constituencies have lost their homes after the Sabaki river (also known as the Galana) overflowed.

Flash flooding hit parts of Turkana County on 02 May after a river in Turkana West Sub-county broke its banks. Local media said at least 2 people died.

Heavy rain triggered several landslides in Kisii County on 01 May, damaging dozens of homes and displacing around 50 families.

164 Fatalities Since April

As many as 164 people have lost their lives in floods or landslides since April, according to a government official.

During a visit to flood-hit areas of Budalangi in Busia County, Eugene Wamalwa, Minister of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands said that, “no doubt this year’s floods are the worst we have had in years”.

He said the government issued warnings in April of the impending floods and urged Kenyans living in flood and landslide prone areas to move to safer ground. But since then several counties have been affected with 164 lives lost and thousands displaced, with Budalangi among the worst affected.

The minister urged residents to move to higher ground and allow the construction of proposed dams and dykes by the government as a long term solution to the floods.

More Rain Expected

Kenya Met Department has warned of further heavy rainfall from 05 to 11 May. The Department said: “Very heavy cumulatively rainfall > 100 mm is expected over most parts of West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Keiyo-Marakwet, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Vihiga, Kisumu, Kericho, Nyamira, Kisii, Narok and some parts of Samburu”.

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