Kenya: Floods - DREF Bulletin No. 05ME032 Final Report


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In Brief

Period covered by this Final Report: 1 June to 30 November 2005.

History of this Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)-funded operation:

CHF 100,000 allocated from the Federation's DREF on 31 May 2005. Refer to for more details.

DREF update no. 1 dated 29 September 2005

This operation was implemented I over 6 months and completed by 30 November 2005.

This operation was aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and Summary

Kenya has experienced massive floods during the annual rainy seasons ever since the 1997 El Niño rains. In May 2004, the Kenya Red Cross Society reported that at least 38 people had been killed, up to 10,000 displaced and an additional 15,000 severely affected by heavy rains that led to floods and land slides. The western part of Kenya was the most severely hit, and approximately 6,000 people were displaced and another 15,000 affected by the aftermath of the heavy rains.

The first week of May 2005, brought increased rainfall that resulted in the death of at least five people and 10,000 people were displaced. Again, the western parts of Kenya were the worst hit by the rains. Livestock deaths were reported, while houses and property were destroyed, including thousands of acres of farmland containing mostly maize and millet which raised fears of famine. Schools experienced low daily attendance rates leading to their closure, while others had to deal with the loss of books and educational materials.

Rachuonyo and Homa Bay districts in western Kenya, were severely affected by floods when the Oluch, Mango and Awach Kagan rivers overflowed their banks. Some 2,268 people were displaced in Rachuonyo District, a total of 420 houses destroyed and 707 domestic animals reported killed. In Homa Bay District, 1,200 people were displaced and 56 houses destroyed. Over 50 cattle were killed and hundreds of acres of farmland submerged. In Migori District, unconfirmed reports indicated that 2,000 families were affected. In Kisumu, 453 people had been displaced by floods.

In northern and north eastern Kenya, 300 families were affected in Isiolo District. Mud-walled houses collapsed, others were washed away and property of unknown value destroyed. 350 goats and sheep were also killed. Over 25,000 Somali refugees living in Ifo camp in Dadaab (Garissa District) were displaced and one person died.

In response to the emergency, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) branches countrywide carried out an assessment to assess the damage caused and the immediate needs of the affected population. The assessments enabled the Kenya Red Cross Society to identify the areas that required urgent intervention, and provided a basis for the delivery of much needed assistance. 30 volunteers from each of the flood-affected or flood-prone branches were either active or on alert ready to intervene.

Working closely with the Federation's structures in the region and sub-region, from the onset of the disaster, the KRCS distributed relief items such as (blankets, plastic sheeting and kitchen sets) to 2,528 families (15,168 people) in: Isiolo District; 300 families: Rachuonyo District; 578 families; Homa Bay District; 100 families and 1,550 families in Migori District.

Analysis of the operation - objectives, achievements and impact

With the support of the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF), the Kenya Red Cross Society was able to respond to the needs of the flood affected communities and replenished its emergency stocks. CHF 100,000 was allocated to the KRCS on 31 May 2005.

Specific Objective 1: To carry out an assessment to establish needs

An assessment team drawn from the office of the president, the national operation centre, representatives from US Embassy and the KRCS was deployed to Isiolo District, whilst other assessments were conducted countrywide by the Red Cross branches to determine the number of people affected by floods and their immediate needs. The assessments enabled the KRCS to identify the areas that required urgent intervention and provided a basis for the delivery of much needed assistance.

Specific Objective 2: To transport and distribute food and non food items (NFIs) to the flood affected population

During the operation, the KRCS distributed food and NFIs such as 1,000 blankets, 500 tarpaulins, 300 insecticides treated mosquito nets (ITNs), 400 kitchen sets, 300 jerry cans, 324,000 chlorine tablets and 1,200 bars of soap to 300 households in Isiolo, 100 households in Kisumu and 100 households in Rachuonyo.

Table 1: NFI distribution in Isiolo, Kisumu and Rachuonyo Districts

Kitchen Sets
Jerry cans
Chlorine Tablets

Objective 3: To preposition relief stocks in Kisumu branch warehouse.

The KRCS replenished its disaster response stocks in the Kisumu branch warehouse with sufficient quantities of needed relief items, thus improving its capacity to respond to disasters in western Kenya. The relief items included 725 tarpaulins; 3,429 blankets; 7,375 bars of soap; 2,508 kitchen sets; 112,014 chlorine tablets and 1,364 jerry cans.


The assessments enabled the Kenya Red Cross Society to identify the areas that required urgent intervention and provided a basis for the delivery of much needed assistance.

Malnutrition was reduced and possible death due to starvation was prevented.

The national society's capacity to respond to disasters in the Western and Nyanza provinces has been strengthened.


The KRCS is a member of the Kenyan National Sudden Onset Disaster Committee. For the second consecutive year, national authorities asked the KRCS to remain the lead agency for the distribution of aid (other than food) during the flood disaster response. The KRCS has built up its preparedness and response capacity from challenges and experiences of past flood operations. The KRCS also co-chaired the national coordination meetings. The Ministry of Health and KRCS worked closely to prevent any possible malaria outbreak. National authorities also pre-positioned relief food in key areas, including maize, beans and vegetable oil for potential distribution to displaced families. The following food items were distributed to 1,800 beneficiaries in Isiolo by the KRCS: 518 bales of maize flour, 24 bags of beans and 675 kilogram's of cooking fat. The government of Kenya also distributed 60 bags of maize, 15 bags of green grams and 15 cartons of cooking oil in Rachuonyo. NFIs for 100 families were also distributed to 1,800 people displaced in Homa Bay. The Federation's East Africa sub-regional office and the regional delegation maintained constant contact with the national society in sharing timely information, situation updates and needs assessments. A network of high frequency and very high frequency radios were installed in all flood-prone areas through funding from the Danish Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross, facilitating the transmission of information from branches to the KRCS headquarters.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Kenya: Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, Kenya Red Cross Society, Nairobi; Email:; Phone; Fax

In Kenya: Esther Okwanga, Federation Head of East Africa Regional Sub-Office, Nairobi; Email:; phone +; fax +

In Kenya: Per Jensnäs, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email:; phone +; fax +

In Kenya: Youcef Ait Chellouche, Acting Regional Disaster Management Coordinator, Nairobi; Email:; phone +; fax +

In Geneva: Amna Al Ahmar, Federation Regional Officer for Eastern Africa, Africa Dept.; Email:; phone + 41.22.730.44.27; fax + 41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

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