Kenya: Floods - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) n° MDRKE047


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

According to the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), the Climate Outlook for the 2021 March-April-May “Long Rains” season indicates that several parts of the country will experience enhanced rainfall while North Eastern parts of the country will receive below-average rainfall. Based on the state of the Ocean and the early onset, KMD has been issuing heavy rainfall advisories with the most recent being 19 April 2021. The advisory indicated that heavy rainfall was expected over North East, South East, the Coastal Regions of Kenya, Western and Central regions including Nairobi Area. As predicted, from mid-March heavy rainfalls have been experienced in the country with the Western parts of the country being the most affected through displacement of populations and disruption of livelihoods. Tana River county has received moderate rains, but some parts have been affected by flash floods due to waters from the rains upstream.

Effects from the rains have been observed as early as of the 7 of April with the KRCS responding with local resources to the minor emergencies since the onset. Since the 16 of April, the effects have worsened leading to displacements of population and livelihood disruptions, with the KRCS scaling up its response, especially in the provision of shelter services. This increase of the impact, the need to continue to scale up the KRCS response, as well as the latest forecast issued on the 19 April, signaling a continuation of the rains for the next seven days, have triggered the request for a DREF allocation to support the ongoing operation, replenishment of already used resources, and allowing any possible scale up.

The “Long Rains” currently being experienced have brought heavy rain and subsequent flooding to Counties of the counties of Tana River, Busia, Kisumu, Garissa, and Marsabit. Based on latest assessments from Kenya Red Cross staff and volunteers the flooding has displaced a total of 4,493 households (26,958 people). At this time two deaths have been reported. Some of the displaced persons are hosted in makeshift camps and others hosted by friends and relatives. KRCS is coordinating with local administration to set up displacements' camps. In addition, 3,232 acres of land with crops have been destroyed in the Tana River basin.

With regards to looking ahead, the forecast indicates that the Lake Basin region, parts of the Highlands East of the Rift Valley (including Nairobi county), the Highlands West of the Rift Valley, parts of the North-West, the Southern Rift Valley and Central Rift are forecasted to experience enhanced rainfall. Particularly concerning are the risks associated with the major dams in the eastern part of the country overflowing into some major rivers (such as Tana river and Athi river) leading to flooding and displacement along the riverine basin. The surface and river flooding will compound the lakes backflow that has been seen for the past 2 years around Rift valley lakes and Lake Victoria.

This situation could lead to over 300,000 people displaced by flood as recently experienced in 2019 October-November-December (OND) short rains and 2020 March-April-May long rain (MAM) which caused substantial flooding. It is also likely that a significant number of communities will be marooned for a long period of time, posing access challenges in the immediate aftermath of the flood event.

The current arrangements in Kenya humanitarian partners is that the Kenya Red Cross (KRCS) provides leadership in response to the needs of up to 150,000 flood affected people whilst any additional number in excess of the 150,000 will activate the response by the international community (UN and NGOs). This means KRCS and its partners including movement partners will target to respond to the needs of people up to 150,000. The UN agencies will respond to the excess of 150,000 people.