CARE International ready to assist people affected by heavy rains and floods in Kenya
April 19, 2013: Heavy rains have been affecting various parts of Kenya since March, especially the west and southwest of the country. These areas have been also affected by last year’s floods and are particularly vulnerable. The situation has worsened recently with rains and subsequent floods causing serious damage to crops and infrastructure, displacement of thousands of people and some fatalities, as well as risks of waterborne diseases outbreaks and increased food prices.
According to the United Nations, at least 35 people have died and 20,000 people displaced from their homes.
“The roads have been badly affected. They are inaccessible, making it difficult to reach camps––on higher grounds such as schools, market centres, churches––where people have been seeking refuge. CARE Kenya is ready to respond and has already prepositioned water purification items for distribution to the people who have been the most affected,” said Bogdan Dumitru, CARE Kenya Country Director.
Early assessments indicate that water sources have been contaminated and there are high risks of outbreaks of waterborne diseases––such as cholera and Rift Valley Fever––that would affect both people and livestock if adequate measures are not put in place soon.
Major rivers such as Sondu and Tana have overflown their banks; most of the farms and grazing land in the affected areas have been washed away and submerged in water, affecting communities’ livelihoods.
As houses in the affected areas are made out of mud, there has been serious damage to infrastructure with houses carried away by the floods. Schools had to be shut down as roads and paths have been inaccessible, and some schools have been flooded.
CARE Kenya continues to monitor other flood-prone areas as the situation is predicted to get worse in the coming days.