Kenya

Kenya: Conflict, Floods and Landslides Preliminary Appeal

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The Kenya Red Cross Society's mission is to build capacity and respond with vigor, compassion and empathy to the victims of disaster and those at risk, in the most effective and efficient manner. It works closely with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.

In Brief

This Preliminary Appeal No. 2/2008 is being issued for Ksh.585,839,514 million (CHF 6,657,407, USD 7,510,763) to assist 300,000 beneficiaries for 3 months. The Appeal is based on the needs described below reflecting the information available at this time. The Kenya Red Cross Society has launched the Appeal within Kenya.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Mr. Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, Kenya Red Cross Society, Email; gullet.abbas@kenyaredcross.org. Phone 254.20.395 0000. Fax 254.20.60.35.89.

Dr. James Kisia, Deputy Secretary General, Kenya Red Cross Society, Email; kisia.james@kenyaredcross.org Phone 254.20.395 0000. Fax 254.20.60.35.89.

Mrs. Annette Msabeni, Acting Head of Department, Disaster Preparedness and Response, Kenya Red Cross Society; Email msabeni.annette@kenyaredcross.org Phone 254.20.395 0000. Fax 254.20.60.35.89.

Mr. Titus Mung'ou, Public Relations & Communications Officer, Kenya Red Cross Society, Email info@kenyaredcross.org . Phone 254.20.395 0000. Fax 254.20.60.35.89.

All Kenya Red Cross Society assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning the Kenya Red Cross Society programmes or operations, or for a full description of the Society's profile, please access the Kenya Red Cross Society Website at http://www.kenyaredcross.org or the Federation's Website at http://www.ifrc.org

Background

Kenya is currently experiencing heavy rains that have led to flooding in different parts of the country and triggered landslides, hampered access to some places and displaced communities. The worst hit areas are Budalang'i in Western Province, Bulla Jamhuria, Rhamu, Rhamu Dimtu and Qalicha in Mandera District, Gurufa in Garissa District and Merti in Isiolo District. The North Rift, West Pokot and Turkana South regions have been hard hit leaving at least 12 people dead, most of them school children. Other deaths due to floods or landslides we reported in Central, Eastern and Rift Valley provinces.

In North Rift and Nyanza regions, the impact of the post election violence had not been fully mitigated and communities had hardly recovered from the violence. Most areas are experiencing floods and landslides. In North Eastern Province, conflicts, displacement of people and flooding continue to wreck havoc especially in Mandera District. The main transport corridor linking Northern Kenya with the rest of the country has been cut off at Lorrian Swamp near Wajir.

Flood waters in Wajir town have submerged the shallow wells and bucket latrines. More than 71,160 people in Wajir Central are affected by floods and are at risk of a cholera outbreak.

The effects of alternate conflicts, droughts and floods continue to undermine recovery efforts of communities, weakening their coping mechanisms, putting lives and livelihoods at risk. For Mandera District, this is the fifth emergency since 2002 and is gradually evolving into a complex humanitarian emergency with the escalation of conflict and military operation.

1. Conflicts and Floods: A Complex Humanitarian Emergency in Mandera District

In Mandera District, a conflict between the Garre and Murulle clans intensified in September 2008, resulting in at least 24 deaths. The conflict was over the ownership of Alongo Borehole in Elwak. A clash between the two clans also occurred in Mandera town in October 2008 after flash floods displaced more than 920 households.

The conflict took a different dimension when the security forces moved in to restore calm and reposes illegal arms used by the warring clans. During the joint security operation from October 2008 at least 300 casualties were attended to at Elwak District Hospital, some in critical conditions. Those seeking medical attention increased day by day, therefore overstretching the hospital's capacity and resources.

The Elwak District Hospital has one doctor and two nurses, while medical supplies cannot meet the current demands.

During the joint military operation in October 2008, the most affected areas were Lafey, Warangara, Elwak, Wargadud, Gari, Bambo, Qalanqalesa and Elele. Close to 600 people were injured during the security operations. However, 300 people received medical attention as others hid in bushes in fear of being rounded up by the security forces. An unspecified number of people crossed the Kenyan border into Somalia to avoid the security operation. Two Catholic nuns were recently abducted in El Wak town by bandits who hijacked three vehicles and crossed the border into Somalia.  

In mid October 2008, a seasonal river that cuts through Mandera town burst its banks for the first time since 2000. This followed a heavy downpour that lasted a week causing River Daua to burst its banks. Floods in the district have displaced at least 120,000 people in Mandera town, Bulla Jamhuria, Rhamu, Rhamu Dimtu and Qalicha areas along the Daua River that form the border between Kenya and Ethiopia. The heavy rains started in the Ethiopian highlands and Banissa plateau in Mandera West destroying crops and displacing hundreds of families along the valley.

In Bulla Jamhuria village alone seven (7) wells were submerged, 428 latrines washed away, three (3) schools closed and unknown number of goats were reported missing. The Kenya Forest Service lost over 1500 seedlings due to the floods. There was extensive damage on latrines and water systems posing a major sanitation problem.

Mandera District was the epicentre of the 2004-2006 droughts that affected the entire horn of Africa, followed by floods in 2006. Ethnic conflict in this district has been raging since 2004 leading to outbreaks of epidemics such as cholera (since 2005) and locust invasion (2007). Mandera District has faced a wave of disasters since 2002 and the current situation looks more uncertain. The high level of insecurity has been exacerbated by alternate drought and floods in the same district. These conditions bear the hallmarks of a complex humanitarian emergency that is steadily unfolding devastating effects, if the situation does not stabilize in the near future. The frequency of recurrent conflicts, droughts and floods has eroded the community's coping mechanisms and weakened their ability to withstand the shocks. On a bigger scale, the famous "Mandera Triangle" that incorporates Liban region (Zone 5) of Ethiopia and Gedo region of Somalia is a highly volatile and disaster prone area. The culmination of recurrent natural disasters and complex instigating factors of civil conflict from the neighbouring war-torn countries along the porous borders has made Mandera highly vulnerable and at risk of further deterioration. The crisis is evolving and the national Society's response team is on the ground monitoring the situation.