Heavy Rains and Flooding in Kenya Kill 90, Displace Over 131,000

Devastating floods in Kenya have claimed 90+ lives, displaced over 131,000, and caused widespread destruction. The government is responding, but more heavy rains are expected, raising concerns about further loss.

Ebenezer Mensah
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Heavy Rains and Flooding in Kenya Kill 90, Displace Over 131,000

Heavy Rains and Flooding in Kenya Kill 90, Displace Over 131,000

Heavy rains and devastating floods have swept across Kenya, resulting in the deaths of at least 90 people, with fears that the number could be higher as many bodies are still missing. The floods have also displaced over 131,450 people from 24,196 households across 40 out of the country's 47 counties.

The hardest-hit area is Nairobi, where 32 fatalities and over 16,000 households have been affected. Specific incidents include 3 deaths in Garissa, 3 in Homabay, and 4 in other parts of the country. A boat carrying at least 40 flood victims capsized in Tana River County, with several people feared dead. The Kenya Red Cross Society has joined local efforts to search for survivors, with 23 people rescued so far.

The floods have caused massive destruction of property and infrastructure, with bridges and roads washed away, disrupting transportation. Thousands of households have been affected, with livestock and crops also damaged. Residents are also facing safety and health concerns, with wildlife being displaced to populated areas.

Why this matters: The devastating floods in Kenya are part of a broader climate emergency affecting the IGAD region, including neighboring countries like Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, and Burundi. The extent of the impacts highlights the gaps in preparedness and early action, despite early warning information being available.

The Kenyan government has scaled up measures to mitigate the disaster, including a financial allocation of $30 million for an immediate response. Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is leading efforts to intensify the distribution of food and non-food items to affected families. The government is working with various partners to support the displaced persons, repair damaged infrastructure, and ensure the availability of medical supplies to prevent disease outbreaks.

The meteorological department has warned that heavy rainfall is expected to continue in over 40 counties in the coming days, raising concerns about further loss of life and property. "The rains show no signs of slowing down according to the ICPAC forecast," stated the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The organization has expressed profound solidarity with the people and government of Kenya, and has urged extreme caution and vigilance throughout the region as the March-May 'long rains' season continues.

Key Takeaways

  • Floods in Kenya have killed at least 90 people, displaced over 131,450
  • Nairobi is the hardest-hit area, with 32 fatalities and 16,000 households affected
  • Floods have caused massive destruction of property and infrastructure
  • Kenyan government has allocated $30 million for immediate disaster response
  • Heavy rains are expected to continue, raising concerns for further loss of life