Kenya

Kenya: Floods 2010 DREF operation No. MDRKE011

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The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

CHF 432,589 (USD 415,950 or EUR 292,289) has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 30,000 people. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: The predicted El Nino rains that commenced with the onset of 2009 short rains season have resulted in destruction of property, loss of lives and displacement of hundreds of people in several parts of the country affecting populations, some of who have not recovered from effects of drought.

The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), through this Disaster Relief Emergency Fund seeks to assist 30,000 persons affected by floods for a period of one month, through provision of food and non-food items (NFI), search and rescue services, health, water and sanitation services to combat possible disease outbreaks.

The Kenya Red Cross Society has responded and assisted more than 8,580 people affected by floods with 1,430 non-food items and dispatched 8MT of food to various districts. This operation is expected to be implemented over a period of one month, and is expected to be completed by 4 February 2010 and a Final Report made available three months after the operation.

The situation

Exceptional heavy rains within the last few days have caused massive flooding in low lying and poorly drained areas in North Rift, South Rift, Nyanza and other parts of the country.

The consequences include deaths, displacement of populations and destruction of farmlands and infrastructure in Turkana, Koibatek, Marigat, Mogotio, Nyando and Narok. The forecast for the next seven days in the North Western districts and the Lake Victoria basin will experience afternoon and night showers and/or thunderstorms1. This is likely to exacerbate flooding along the floor of the Rift Valley and Lake Region in areas that are low lying.

Kenya has experienced El Nino and La Nina cycles, with which the floods and drought cycles are closely linked. Based on information availed by the Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) at the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF) organized in Kenya (August 2009), the country was therefore expected to receive higher than normal rainfall in the period corresponding to short rainsbetween October and January 2010.

Those affected and displaced by the floods are part of communities still experiencing heightened food insecurity following the prolonged drought that affected an estimated 3.8 million people in pastoral, agro pastoral and marginal agricultural areas.

Experts estimate that the current situation is not as bad as the El Niño floods of 1997 that affected all districts of the country simultaneously, therefore the number of households likely to be displaced and/or affected by floods may be slightly lower than those recorded in 1997.

Prior to the current floods, the KRCS has been distributing food to 1,119,427 beneficiaries in 13 districts under the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) in collaboration with the Government of Kenya (GoK) and the World Food Programme (WFP). The number of vulnerable households is however expected to increase in areas affected by floods.