NAIROBI, 20 May (IRIN) - Floods
which have wreaked havoc in Kenya since late April, have destroyed a vital
bridge, impeding the delivery of humanitarian supplies to northern Kenya
and southern Sudan.
According to a report from the office of the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator for Kenya, the Lokichoggio humanitarian base was no longer accessible by road after the Marich Pass bridge in northwestern Kenya was washed away.
The route is the only way to send supplies by road to humanitarian organisations operating in southern Sudan as well as to the Kakuma refugee camp, which hosts up to 100,000 refugees. "The whole of southern Sudan is now cut off from humanitarian supplies unless they are flown in," an official at the UN office told IRIN.
According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), the floods have created a huge gully on one side of the road leading to Lokichoggio, and have eaten away half the road for almost 300 metres. Raging floods at Kakuma have already destroyed 125 shelters and killed three refugees.
Flooding throughout the country has killed at least 55 people. Several rivers have burst their banks, affecting mains water supplies and power dams. The capital Nairobi has been without water for almost three weeks.
At the coast, floods have cut off three islands, leaving some 5,000 residents marooned without food supplies and medical care. The main Tana River has burst its banks, preventing communication and transport to the islands of Kipangajeni, Mwangatini and Burangi, about 13 km from Malindi town.
Malindi District Commissioner Mohammed Maalim said the residents had been feeding on boiled mangoes for the past two weeks because they could not access Malindi town and other areas, even by canoe.
The government and humanitarian agencies have been delivering food and non-food items to about 60,000 affected people in the country, mainly in western Kenya. Last week, a project aimed at reducing Kenya's vulnerability to floods, with the help of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), was announced.
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