Kenya: Floods Emergency Appeal No. MDRKE007


GLIDE n=B0 FL-2008-000217-KEN

This Preliminary Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 6,179,532 (USD 5.1m or EUR 3.9m) in cash, kind, or services to support the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to assist 300,000 beneficiaries for 6 months. This operation will be completed by end May 2009. A Final Report will be issued by end August 2009 (3 months after the end of the operation).

CHF 211,787 (USD 201,702 or EUR 129,533) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation. Unearmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Kenya is currently experiencing heavy rains that have led to flooding in many parts of the country and triggered landslides that are hampering access to some places and displacing entire communities. The worst hit areas are Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Budalangi and Tana River Districts. Based on the situation, this Preliminary Emergency Appeal responds to a request from the KRCS, and focuses on providing support to take an appropriate and timely response in delivering assistance and relief in the following sectors of health, water and sanitation, and distribution of food and non-food items.

The situation

Kenya is currently experiencing heavy rains that have caused serious flooding in many parts of the country and have triggered landslides hampering access to affected areas and displacing entire communities. The worst hit areas are:

- Western Province: Budalangi District.

- North Western Province: Mandera and Garissa Districts, Wajir town.

- Rift Valley Province: Pokot Central and Trans Nzoia Districts.

- Coast Province: Tana River District.

- Nyanza: Migori and Nyando Districts.

In these districts at least 12 people have died, most of them school children. Other deaths due to floods or landslides were reported in the Central and Eastern Provinces as well. Flood waters in Wajir town have submerged over 6,000 shallow wells and bucket latrines with more than 71,160 people affected and are at risk of a cholera outbreak.

Floods and inter clan clashes: a complex humanitarian emergency in Mandera District

 In Mandera District, clashes occurred between the Garre and Murulle clans, and intensified in September 2008, resulting in at least 24 deaths. The clashes were related to water resources and the Alongo borehole in Elwak) A clash between the two clans also occurred in Mandera town in October 2008 almost concurrently with flash floods that further displaced more than 920 households.

The internal fighting acquired a different dimension when the security forces moved in to restore calm and disarm the warring clans. During the joint security operation in October 2008 at least 300 casualties were treated at Elwak District Hospital, some in critical condition. Those seeking medical attention increased day by day, thus overstretching the hospital's capacity and resources. The Elwak District Hospital extremely under staffed; normally there are 18 health workers, but at the moment most of them have left leaving only 4 health workers. Medical supplies are limited and cannot meet the current demands of the displaced people.

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 also caused the River Daua to burst its banks. Floods & fighting in the district have displaced at least 120,000 people in Mandera town, Bulla Jamhuria, Rhamu, Rhamu Dimtu and Qalicha areas along the River Daua 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, in Mandera, seven wells were submerged and 428 latrines washed away. There is extensive damage on remaining latrines and water systems posing a major sanitation problem.

A pattern of cyclical disaster events in the north Eastern province together with the current emergency has had a considerable impact on those affected, many at their lowest in terms vulnerability. Mandera District was the epicentre of the 2004-2006 droughts that affected the entire horn of Africa, followed by floods in 2006. Ethnic fighting in this district has been taking place sporadically since 2004, leading to displacement and insecurity which affects access to basic services. As a result, outbreaks of epidemics such as cholera (since 2005) and locust invasion (2007) have occurred and coping mechanisms are considerably weakened. These conditions bear the hallmarks of a complex humanitarian emergency that is steadily unfolding with devastating effects if the situation does not stabilize in the near future.

The frequency of recurrent tribal fighting, droughts and floods has eroded the community's coping mechanisms and weakened their ability to respond to disasters. 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 neighboring war-torn countries along the porous borders has made Mandera highly vulnerable and at risk of further deterioration.

Map: Kenya: Floods (as of 25 Nov 2008) - Situation Map