Garissa flood

News and Press Release
Originally published
Weekly News
The Tana River, in north-eastern Kenya, burst its banks last weekend, turning what had been a Red Cross drought relief
operation into a flood response mission. A dozen people died and an estimated 31,000 were affected as a deluge swept Garissa district, inundating 15 villages and Garissa town itself. A Kenyan Red Cross/Federation team joined army and local authority rescuers and put their own lives at risk in the process. Four team members were trapped in their vehicle for five hours in fast-rising water as they went from house to house to evacuate those in trouble.
The flooding is described as a double disaster. Since April, the Kenya Red Cross, supported by the Federation, had been
providing food relief for more than 100,000 people affected by a prolonged and devastating drought in the Garissa area. The drought over, the programme was coming to an end when rain interrupted food distributions. Just the day before, the team had struggled to provide a final two-month ration of maize, donated by the German Red Cross to more than 2,000 of the neediest people in the area of Ziwani and Bakuyu along the river. When the flood came, these were the worst-hit areas. The food was swept away along with houses and possessions.