Kenya: April Floods - Operation Update Report n° MDRKE047



Description of the disaster

Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) released various forecasts which indicated continued rains beyond the peak of the season which was predicted to be in second half of April. In April, rains spread out to most parts of the country, with parts of Western Kenya receiving over 300mm of rain while Rift Valley, Central and Southeastern Kenya received over 150mm. These rains were above what is normally received in April for Western, parts of Rift Valley, Central and Southeastern Kenya. At the same time, parts of the North, where drought is evolving, received rainfall that is below what is normally received in the month of April. On 27 April 2021, the KMD released the monthly forecast for May which indicated continued rains over West, Central and Coastal Kenya based on regression of sea surface temperatures (SSTs), SST gradients and the expected evolution of global SST patterns as well as upper air circulation patterns on Kenyan rainfall.

As of 13 May 2021, rainfall effects have been reported in 13 counties. The latest counties to report impact are Siaya, Migori, Homabay and Nakuru Counties. A general increase in river water levels has also been recorded across the country especially in West Kenya Region where rivers Nzoia, Kuja, Sondu Miriu and Nyando have been reportedly swollen in the last 72 hours.

In Siaya, 2 girls (4 and 13 years) lost their lives, and an elderly man was injured after their houses collapsed owing to heavy downpour accompanied by strong winds at Usenge area in Kisumu County. In Migori, 5 Primary Schools (Nyora, Agungo, Sere, Modi and Tulu) in Nyatike Sub County did not open for third term as planned, after raging waters rendered the five institutions inaccessible.

In Homabay County, 337 households have also been displaced by floods caused by rising water level of Lake Victoria. Simbi Primary School and a health center in Rachuonyo Sub County have been marooned leading to suspension of learning and provision of health services.

A major part of Nakuru County’s road transport has been paralyzed disrupting movement and livelihood activities for at least 500 HHs after a key bridge connecting Michinga and Marioshoni areas was swept away.

The Coast Region has received light rains in the last week. Water levels in River Tana are at 2.7 meters and expected to rise to spill level and subsequent effects if the ongoing heavy rains continue to be recorded in the Central Kenya highlands.

Since the onset of the March-April-May rains, 9 fatalities have been recorded, 6,580 HHs (39,054 people) have been displaced, more than 10,000 households have been affected and a total of 4,742 acreage of agricultural land has been destroyed in 12 counties (Kisumu, Homa Bay, Busia, Migori, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Nairobi, Narok, Trans Nozia, Elgeyo Marakawet, Siaya, Isiolo, and Marsabit).

Since the start of the month of May, most parts of the country have recorded moderate to heavy rainfall as predicted by the Kenya Meteorological Department forecast. Isolated storms and strong winds have also been reported in parts of Upper Eastern, North Eastern and Coast Regions. An increase in frequency, intensity and consequent effects has been recorded in the month of May as compared to April. According to the weather outlook released on 17 May covering (18 - 24 May 2021), rainfall is expected to continue over several parts of the Highlands West of the Rift Valley and the Lake Victoria Basin, as well as over a few areas in the Central and South Rift Valley, the Northwest and the Highlands East of the Rift Valley (including Nairobi County). The rains are likely to result to continued increased impact on the population in the high-risk counties of West Kenya and Coast region.