Kenya – Thousands Displaced by Floods as Heavy Rain Continues

The ongoing “long rains” in Kenya continue to cause flooding in western and eastern counties. Kenya Red Cross says as many as 30,0000 people have been displaced since March.

Meanwhile President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed on 26 April that 29 people died in the massive mudslides and flooding in the border areas of Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties on 18 April.

“My Administration continues to make every effort to support affected families and communities across the country.” he said.

Floods in Kisimu County, Kenya, April 2020. Photo; Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS)

Western Kenya

In the west, houses have been submerged an, families displaced and camping in evacuation centres after flooding in Nyando Sub-County, Kisumu County, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS). In neighbouring Homa Bay County, media report that over 1,000 families have been displaced by floods along the shoreline of Lake Victoria.

KRCS also reports that the Nzoia river has burst its banks in Siaya County, destroying farms and displacing families in Usonga.

South Eastern Kenya

In the south east of the country heavy rain has caused the Tana River to break its banks displacing around 300 families in Tana River County, according to Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said more than 50 people marooned by floodwaters in Jarirot village, Garissa County, were rescued after the Tana river broke its banks. Flooding was also reported in Kilifi County.

Thousands Displaced by Floods During COVID-19

According to KRCS, around 30,000 people have now been displaced by flooding across the country since the long rains began in March this year. Those displaced are either integrated in neighbouring communities or are living in temporary shelters.

KRCS said “Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic response, these displacements pose a challenge to maintaining physical distancing and could make victims vulnerable to infection.”

Flood Warnings

Kenya Meteorological Department has predicted that the rains are set to continue, with many more people likely to be affected by flooding from the Tana River, in particular in Garissa and Tana River counties. The President has urged people living in flood prone areas to move to higher ground.

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