Kenyans Ordered to Evacuate or Will be 'Moved by Force' as Death Toll Continues to Rise

Devastating floods in Kenya kill 66, displace 150,000; government orders mandatory evacuation of high-risk areas as climate change intensifies extreme weather events.

Nimrah Khatoon
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Kenya Orders Evacuation as Deadly Floods Kill 66, Displace Over 150,000

Kenya Orders Evacuation as Deadly Floods Kill 66, Displace Over 150,000

The Kenyan government has mandated the evacuation of flood-prone areas across the country as rain-swollen water levels at two hydroelectric dams have reached "historic highs." The flooding has already killed 66 people on Monday and displaced over 150,000 people in recent days.

The Cabinet has directed residents of areas with a history of flooding or landslides, as well as those living near dams and rivers considered high-risk, to evacuate by Wednesday or face forced relocation. The flooding has blocked a national highway, swamped the main airport, and swept a bus off a bridge.

Survivors in Mai Mahiu described houses, cars, and railway tracks being swept away by the floodwaters. At least 169 people have died across Kenya since last month due to heavy rains and flooding, with more than 190,000 people forced from their homes, including 147,000 in the capital Nairobi.

Why this matters: The severe flooding in Kenya highlights the devastating impact of climate change on vulnerable regions. As extreme weather events become more frequent and intense, it is vital for governments to prioritize disaster preparedness and take proactive measures to protect their citizens.

The flooding has also affected neighboring countries in East Africa, killing over 150 people in Tanzania and Somalia, and affecting hundreds of thousands in Ethiopia and Burundi. Scientists say climate change is causing more intense and frequent extreme weather events.

The government has promised to assist and resettle the displaced people. However, there is frustration among residents over the government's perceived negligence in addressing the blocked tunnel that led to the deaths of 48 people in the Mai Mahiu area.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki stated, "We are telling people who live in flood-prone areas and landslide-prone areas, near dams and rivers, that between now and Wednesday, they should evacuate. Those who do not go, we will go for them and take them away from those danger areas by force."

Key Takeaways

  • Kenya orders evacuation of flood-prone areas as dam levels reach historic highs.
  • Flooding killed 66 on Monday and displaced over 150,000 people, affecting infrastructure.
  • Climate change is driving more intense and frequent extreme weather events in the region.
  • Over 150 people killed in flooding in Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Burundi.
  • Govt promises aid but faces criticism over perceived negligence in addressing prior disaster.