Kenya: Floods: Emergency Appeal no. MDRKE003


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.

In Brief


A total of CHF 750,000 (USD 630,000 or EUR 470,000) has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to initiate the relief response operation. Unearmaked funds to replenish the DREF are encouraged.

Please note that the KRCS is one of the national societies on the direct cash transfer system.

The projects and activities elaborated here are 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". These are:

- 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.

The situation

After a brief lull in the October to December 2006 short rains season, heavy downpours are now being experienced in parts of Kenya. Over the past one and a half months, heavy flooding has led to the loss of 34 lives, affected an estimated 723,000 people, including about 60,000 others in Isiolo, Garissa, Turkana, Lodwar, Moyale, Wajir, Mandera and Kisumu.

During the weekend of the 2 December, heavy rainfall spread to the western region of Kenya particularly affecting Busia (Budalangi). Dykes along the Nyando River were completely destroyed, in many places, resulting in large scale destruction of property and flooding of farming land along the flood plain. According to Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) assessments, some 12,000 households have been displaced and are in urgent need of relief assistance and other services. KRCS volunteers from neighbouring branches were mobilized to carry out assessments and have so far distributed relief items to 1,000 affected households.

The rains have caused severe destruction to the infrastructure. Bridges have been washed away and roads linking towns cut off making transportation/access a complicated for commuters and traders. Many commuters were stranded for days without food. Reports indicate that the main livelihoods in the affected areas are farming, livestock and fishery which have been highly affected by the flooding. Crops and some motorized irrigation pumps are reported to be washed away and irrigation infrastructures are damaged.

The extremely high amount of rainfall has led to excess amounts of water at Kenya's hydro -electric dams resulting in overspill that led to the flooding of the entire Tana River flood plain triggering the displacement of hundre ds of communities on both sides of the river and exacerbating the already precarious situation. This humanitarian situation is unfolding in a region that is among the least developed in the country and has been suffering successive droughts over the past decade thereby further weakening the ability of the local communities to withstand disaster.

The coping mechanisms of the affected communities has already been exhausted and this floods emergency is an unusual occurrence as the region is arid and is usually a drought prone area.

The critical factor in this situation is access. The whole of Ijaara District is cut -off and can only be accessed by air. The Dadaab area (refugee camps and host community) is extremely difficult to access. Large areas of Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, and parts of Moyale and Mandera districts remain inaccessible by road and the main transport corridor linking the rest of Kenya with Wajir and Mandera district is cut off at Habaswein. This has led to dwindling of existing food supplies in commercial outlets and has worsened access to food for the communities, especially the vulnerable groups.

Hot temperatures - coupled with floodwaters - present potential breeding conditions for pathogens and diseasecarrying vectors, further worsening the health situation. Already alerts have been sounded for possible outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases and malaria. There are fears that water sources may have been contaminated as latrines, shallow wells and earth dams in all affected regions have collapsed and are covered by floodwaters. Already 22 people have been hospitalized at the Garissa Provincial Hospital with cases of diarrhoea.

The experience of the 1997-98 El Nino floods indicates the likelihood of outbreaks of livestock diseases following the floods receding. Cases of Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CBPP), Contagious Caprine Pleuro- Pneumonia (CCPP) and foot-rot have been reported to be on the increase by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO). Alerts have been issued for possible outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) among camels and goats. In the past, this led to a ban on livestock exports from the region to Gulf States. Emergency intervention in livestock sector needs to be put in place for such eventualities which may have far reaching implications on livelihoods beyond this emergency period.

The unfolding security environment in Somalia also presents some challenges as it is difficult to predict both from the point of view of weather patterns as well as its consequences for neighbouring areas (population movement). This situation is being monitored closely and will form part of the contingency planning part of the operation. The affected existing refugee population will be served by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and its operational partners. KRCS is providing logistical support to UNHCR, but this element is not included in this appeal.

It is important to note that at the time of the release of this emergency appeal, the Government of Kenya (GoK) has not declared the flooding situation a national emergency.

There are 3 basic categories of affected population:

- People displaced by the flooding living in temporary accommodation (including public buildings such as schools), temporary camps or in private accommodation;

- People living close to their damaged homes;

- Isolated communities or persons cut off from their usual communications routes.

These categories can be divided into 4 livelihoods groups which will affect the response strategy, particularly in the recovery phase:

- Pastoralist communities;

- Agricultural subsistence communities;

- Agro pastoral (with different emphasis on either activity depending on environmental condition s);

- Fishing communities.

Targeted beneficiaries: The population affected by the current floods is estimated by KRCS as 723,000 persons (approximately 120,000 families.) Mapping of the emergency response by all agencies to the current flooding indicates that KRCS is responding in all critical sectors - in all affected areas - by assisting approximately 563,000 persons (approximately 94,000 households). The remainder of the caseload is being assisted by other agencies.

Map: Kenya: Floods - Situation map

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 Sub-Regional Office, Nairobi; Email:; Phone +; Fax +

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

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 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 Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at