Kenya – 46 Dead and 58,000 Displaced as Floods Worsen

The worsening flood situation in Kenya has forced as many as 58,000 people from their homes, according to the latest reports from humanitarian organisations.

Floods in Elwak, Mandera County, Kenya, November 2023. Photo: Hon. Abdul Haro (Kore)- MP, Mandera South

In a recent interview with local television, the Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross Society, Dr Ahmed Idris, said that at least 19 of the country’s 47 counties have now been affected by flooding which began in late October 2023. As many as 46 people have now lost their lives as a result of the heavy rains and flooding, Dr Ahmed Idris said.

Currently the worst affected areas are in the north of the country, in particular in Samburu, Wajir, Isiolo, Marsabit and Mandera counties. However the recent overflow of the Tana River has affected areas in the east of the country including Tana River and Garissa counties. Dr Ahmed Idris said forecasts for the coming weeks show an possible increased flooding risk for western areas of the country.

Satellite image from before the floods in Garissa, Kenya, October 202. Image: Sentinel 2 image using false colour
Satellite image of the floods in Garissa, Kenya, 11 November 2023. The city of Garissa sits on the Tana River which runs along the border between Garissa and Tana River counties. Image: Sentinel 2 image using false colour

Crisis Upon Crisis

Some communities have been left isolated after flooding damaged or destroyed roads and bridges. Homes, schools and public buildings. Crops and large numbers of livestock have been lost, increasing worries of food insecurity. There is also a fear of rising cases of diseases, including cholera.

Dr Ahmed Idris expressed his concern that many communities have faced multiple disasters over recent months. Many of the communities affected by the flooding were until recently impacted by severe drought conditions. The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) in Kenya reported in September that at least 2.8 million people in 23 regions that were severely hit by drought were still in need of food assistance.

“From a humanitarian perspective, what this means is that the resilience of these communities is consistently being weakened. Every subsequent emergency makes it more difficult for them to withstand the effects of the following emergency.”

About the flood situation in Kenya, Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General and CEO of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said:

“Crisis upon crisis. Kenya has experienced devastating flash floods causing displacement and disruption of lives and livelihoods. The Kenya Red Cross is responding to the immediate needs of those affected, providing shelter and essential relief items. Strong solidarity is needed.”

Floods in Elwak, Mandera County, Kenya, November 2023. Photo: Hon. Abdul Haro (Kore) MP, Mandera South

Social Media