Kenya: Floods - OCHA Situation Report No. 2
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Floods - Kenya
1. Affected population: According to the Kenya Red Cross, the overall estimates for the populations affected by the floods remain at 300,000, but this will certainly change as more assessment information comes in.
2. Overall flooding situation: The initial heavy rains experienced in the months of October and November have slightly subsided at the coastal region, although their impact has been devastating. Heavy rains are not only occurring in the northeastern and coastal parts of Kenya but also in the western parts. However, northeastern Kenya experienced once more exceptionally heavy rains on Saturday, 18th November, causing flash floods in Mandera, Marsabit, Moyale and Garissa districts. The new floods again particularly affected the refugee camps at Dadaab, which host the Somali refugees.
3. Release of dam waters: Following the release of waters from the Kiambere and Kamburu dams (upstream the River Tana from Garissa town) late last week and over the weekend, the lower parts of the River Tana were heavily flooded up to 3-5 kms from the riverbanks. In Garissa District, 3 villages were evacuated; yet, 6 other villages in the same district remain at risk. In Tana River District, 4 villages were evacuated. The Kenya Red Cross conducted a "loudspeaker" campaign over the weekend warning people to move away from the river. However, not all communities heeded the warnings and over 80 people were marooned in trees south of Garissa on Sunday, 19th November. The Kenyan Police assisted in the rescue of these people.
4. Relocation of refugees at Dadaab: UNHCR received Government approval to start the relocation of refugees from Ifo camp to the higher ground of Hagedera camp. Nearly 60,000 people will have to be relocated from Ifo camp. 400 families (2,000 refugees) were moved on 20th November and given accommodation in the new shelters. Kenya Red Cross has availed 5 of their trucks to assist in this process.
5. Situation in Dadaab refugee camps: The flash floods of 18th/19th November caused the severely affected the Dadaab refugee camps, in particular the Ifo camp where the hospital was almost completely flooded. UNHCR reported though that, since the weekend, water levels have dropped in the camps. Emergency aid teams are again able to reach the worst hit camps to assist in aid supply distributions. Health and sanitation remain serious concerns. The general health of the refugee population and the surrounding communities has suffered due to severe living conditions; i.e. lack of food, sleep and difficult in accessing medical care.
6. Health (cholera and malaria): The Ministry of Health reported that cholera cases in Moyale in the north, where 2 cases were confirmed, and on the coast had been recorded since October 2006. However, they felt that hygiene campaigns and the distribution of chlorine and Aquatabs have kept the problem under control. It is expected that malaria is likely to be more severe in the coming months after the rains subside. More efforts will be needed to concentrate on preventative health measures in the flood-affected areas.
7. Schooling and national examinations have been badly disrupted in the North-east Province.
Flooding situation in the districts
8. In Isiolo District (central-eastern Kenya), floods affected people and livestock due to the heavy downpours in the Meru Hills. Residents of Ngarmara, Malkagala, Merti and Gafarsa were made homeless after the Ewaso Nyiro River burst its banks.
9. In Mandera District (north-eastern Kenya), floods affected populations in the area of El Wak.
10. In Moyale District (northern Kenya), according to the Kenya Red Cross, floods caused the displacement of populations. In Moyale town, latrines were damaged and houses destroyed.
11. In Garissa District (eastern Kenya), populations the following areas were affected by flooding: Garissa town, Dadaab, Hagadera, Ahantabak, Alikune, Jarirot Amuma and Boralgi. Many roads remain impassable in the distict.
12. In Kajulu, East division, Kisumu District (western Kenya), the Kenya Red Cross reported that heavy winds and rains were creating floods. Houses were destroyed. Water levels in Migori and Nyando were increasing rapidly.
13. In Busia District (western Kenya), people were displaced by flooding in Maduma, South Bunyala and Budalangi and were forced to move to higher grounds.
14. In Thika District (central highlands, northeast of Nairobi), about 90 people have been displaced in Kilimambogo.
15. The November climate outlook has been based on models developed from the expected evolution of global Sea Surface Temperature (SSTs) and sea surface temperature gradients - at the moment standing at +2 and +3% in the Equatorial Pacific and Central Indian Ocean, thus affecting the rain trends. This data confirms the moderate El Nino trend affecting eastern Africa.
16. The forecast indicates that most parts of the country are likely to experience enhanced rainfall during the month ranging between 40-100 mm per week, except in a few areas in the south-eastern lowlands, where rainfall may be slightly depressed. The 7-day forecast for the period 19th -26th November indicates increased rainfall in western parts of the country as well as in north-east Kenya, parts of the coast and marginal agricultural areas in the east and the central highlands. Some areas such as the central highlands may receive between 100mm and 150mm of rain over the next seven days.
17. Despite these rain projections being higher than the normal average, they remain significantly below the severe rains of 1997. However, with the increase in population, worsening poverty in the pastoralist areas and widespread problems of de-forestation, they could have an equally severe impact.
18. The Kenyan Government through the Office of the President has re-iterated its primary role in charge of natural disaster coordination with the main national coordinating structure being the Rapid-Onset Disaster Committee. At the district level, the Government's District Steering Committees are the key coordination structures for humanitarian action. The Government is being supported by the Kenya Red Cross, UN agencies and NGOs.
19. The Government of Kenya is setting up coordination centres in Garissa, Wajir and Mombasa.
Pre-positioning and distribution of relief items
20. The Kenya Red Cross has pre-positioned relief stocks in the districts of Garissa (eastern Kenya), Kwale (south-eastern Kenya) and Kisumu (western Kenya).
21. The Government of Kenya has also pre-positioned food stocks - 10,000 bags of maize, 41,085 bags of rice, 10,640 boxes of vegetable oil (1 box= 6 x 3 ltr), and 4,800 bags of beans along with other commodities - in the following districts:
a) in western Kenya: Kisumu, Migori, Nyando, Busia and Bondo
b) in north-western Kenya: Turkana
c) in the coastal parts of Kenya: Kwale, Kilifi,
d) in eastern Kenya: Garissa, Ijara .
22. The Kenya Red Cross has distributed 7,000 blankets, 3,500 kitchen sets, 7,000 jerry cans, 3,500 tarpaulins, 280,000 Aquatabs and nearly 40 tonnes of UNIMIX to flood-affected communities in the districts of Kwale (south-east), Wajir, Garissa, (east) Isiolo (central-east) Moyale (north), and Lodwar (north-west).
23. The Kenyan Army and the Ministry of Public Works have been active in repairing roads and bridges along the coast, particularly near the Kenya/Tanzania border. The road at Lunga-Lunga is now open. Construction work also began to rebuild a new bridge across the River Mriva in Ramisi on the Mombasa - Tanzania highway. Last week, the Government announced that it had set aside more than 500 million Kenya shillings (7 million USD) for this process.
24. On Friday 17th November 2006, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland, approved the requests for funding through the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) submitted last week by UN agencies in Kenya. A total amount of USD 11.8 million was allocated to Kenya for emergency support in food and nutrition, logistics, protection, health, water, refugee and livestock sectors. The agencies benefiting from this money include UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR, WHO and FAO.
25. OCHA also provided an Emergency Cash Grant of USD 50,000 through UNDP to the Kenya Red Cross for NFI, health and water interventions.
26. The Kenya Red Cross received an allocation of CHF 150,000 by IFRC through its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF).
27. UNDAC have seconded a coordination expert to assist the work of OCHA and the UN Resident Coordinator.
28. On 16th and 17th of November, a joint Government/UN/KRCS aerial assessment was carried out in the worst affected districts in Coast Province and North-east Province. It was noted that many roads were cut off in the north-east (Dadaab, Garissa, Wajir) and in Tana River. The Dadaab-Garissa road had been intercepted by at least 20 temporary rivers.
29. On 21st November, a rapid assessment team comprising of WFP, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Works and FAO left by helicopter on a 3-day assessment. The assessment team will concentrate its survey on flood-affected communities in Tana River, Ijara, Garissa, Wajir and possibly Isiolo.
30. WFP is using funds received from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to hire two helicopters, which will be based in Garissa. The helicopters will be used for assessments as well as for airlifts of food and non-food items, since most of the roads in the area remain impassable. As part of the current emergency operation (EMOP), WFP has to distribute between 8,000 - 10,000 MT of food aid each month to the north-east. At most, only 20% of food aid could be moved by air, so the opening of roads remains the most important priority.
31. WFP will intensify its efforts to distribute food to flood victims in Garissa and Tana River Districts. They plan to move the 100 MT of high-energy biscuits, (which arrived from Brindisi today) to Garissa District for distribution to flood-affected people, including the refugees. They will import in all 170 MT of high-energy biscuits.
32. WFP Somalia and WFP Kenya will have a cargo aircraft based in Mombasa to assist in airdrops to flood-affected communities in both countries. WFP have stated that 40 commercial trucks hired by the agency to deliver food have been stuck on the Garissa- Wajir road for several days.
33. Kwale District: WFP continue with their substantial emergency food distributions in Kwale. Last week, WFP moved by road 194 MT of food by road to various locations in Kwale. However, due to impassable roads, 30,000 to 40,000 (30% to 40%) of beneficiaries of the emergency operation (EMOP) had not received food under the October allocation.
34. Dadaab refugee camps: WFP have carried on their distributions to the refugees at Dadaab, where they have had access. On the 18th and 19th November, in both Hagadera and Dagahaley camps general food distribution continued as planned. In total, some 20,831 people were provided food rations in Hagadera camp, while 8,271 beneficiaries were fed in Dagahaley camp. In Ifo camp, 7,748 refugees were supplied with a 7-day ration and 17,719 refugees, who had missed their food distribution due to the floods, were given 7.2 MT of high-energy biscuits to sustain them until their re-scheduled distribution day. Regular fortnightly general food distributions to all refugees in both Hagadera and Dagahaley camps were concluded. Both WFP and UNHCR remain very concerned about firewood shortages in Dadaab.
35. Mandera District: On the 17th November, WFP reported that they had finished the October food distribution in Mandera and had 40% of the November requirements in place. In Wajir, 80% of beneficiaries had received their October distribution; a total of 51,000 beneficiaries had not yet been reached due to inaccessibility. WFP had 40% of November requirements in place. In Garissa district, 58% of the beneficiaries or 69,950 had not received food under the October allocation. WFP had more than 60% of a month's worth of stock in place, but roads accessibility in the District remained a serious constraint.
Supplies of non-food items and rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities
36. Dadaab refugee camps: UNICEF has sent 30 medical kits, 250 kg of chlorine, 1,200 jerry cans, 6,000 purification sachets and 8,400 ORS (oral re-hydration salt) to Dadaab camp last Sunday.
37. Dadaab refugee camps: UNHCR and its partner agencies in Dadaab such as UNICEF, WFP, GTZ and CARE are involved in distributions of emergency food and of non-food items, i.e. plastic sheets, mobile clinics. They are also involved in the rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities as well as in the repair of dykes. UNHCR airlifted supplies including fuel into Dadaab.
38. Dadaab refugee camps: NGOs such as MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières)-Swiss, who have a presence at Dadaab, will focus on water and sanitation activities and also plan to distribute non-food items. OXFAM and UNICEF are negotiating the secondment of OXFAM technical staff to assist in public health management in Dadaab.
39. Kwale: UNICEF also sent 8,614 water purifying tablets, 96,000 purification sachets, 1,000 buckets, 2,000 filters, 1 emergency basic health kit, 24 cartons of ORS (oral re-hydration salt) and 386 mosquito nets to Kwale.
MAIN CONCERNS AND PRIORITY AREAS
40. Roads accessibility remains the biggest constraint to humanitarian access. In some of the flood-affected areas in North-eastern Province and Coast Province roads are still impassable, including the following roads: the road from Isiolo to Moyale and Isiolo to Wajir; and most roads in Ijara.
41. The Government has been requested to make emergency road repairs as well as to place construction plants on key roads in North-east Province to remove trucks, which are stranded.
Shelter, sanitation and water provision
42. Shelter, sanitation and water provision have to be rapidly improved in Dadaab and other affected areas. The provision of safe water supplies is essential and agencies such as UNICEF will be working with its Government counterparts in containing water contamination in both Dadaab and the flood-affected parts of Kenya.
43. Emergency health provision and surveillance have to be urgently supported particularly in malaria treatment and diarrhoeal control. The threat of widespread diarrhoeal disease remains.
44. Animal health interventions will be critical in safeguarding ruminants in the flood-affected areas from Rift Valley Fever. Kenya suffered from an 8-year livestock export ban after the 1997 floods, which brought Rift Valley Fever to livestock herds. The ban was only lifted this year.
Management of dam water releases
45. Flood levels on the Tana River and the management by KenGen (the leading electric power generation company in Kenya) of dam water releases need to be monitored intensively in order to forewarn communities living close to the Tana River.
46. The Rapid-Onset Committee will meet on a much more regular basis (possibly every two days) to ensure an adequate flow of information. More information is required on beneficiary numbers and what agencies are doing.
47. Coordination at district level needs to be intensified and daily flows of information from District Steering Groups to the Office of the President need to be captured on daily situation reports.
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