Kenya: Floods Minor Emergency No. 05ME032 Operations Update No. 1

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In Brief

Period covered: 1st June to 29 September 2005.

This Minor Emergency Update no. 1 is being issued based on the situation described below reflecting the information available at this time. CHF 100,000 was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to respond to the needs in this operation or to replenish disaster preparedness stocks distributed to the affected population. This operation is expected to be completed by 30 November, and a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (28 February 2006). Replenishment of DREF by unearmarked contributions is welcome and needed.


Kenya has been experiencing massive floods during the annual rainy seasons since the 1997 El Niño rains. In May 2004, the Kenya Red Cross Society(1) 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 in Kenya since March 2004. The western part of Kenya was the most severely hit, and had approximately 6,000 people 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 livestock and destruction of houses and property. Thousands of acres of farmland containing mostly maize and millet were destroyed, raising 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.

Among the most affected districts were Isiolo; Rachuonyo; Homa Bay; Migori; Kisumu; and Garissa where thousands of people, including over 25,000 Somali refugees living in Dadaab, were affected. The Federation allocated Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of CHF 100,000 towards this minor emergency operation to replenish relief items and to build up national disaster preparedness (DP) stocks.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

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


An assessment team comprising of staff from the Office of the President, the National Operation Centre, two representatives from the US Embassy (including the wife of the US Ambassador) and the Kenya Red Cross Society disaster response officer visited Merti division in Isiolo district. The Kisumu branch of the Red Cross Action Team (RCAT) found that central Karachuonyo and north eastern Karachuonyo were completely inaccessible. Other assessments were conducted countrywide to determine those affected and their immediate needs.


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.

Objective 2: To transport and distribute food and non food relief items to the flood affected population


From the onset of the disaster the national society distributed non food relief items including blankets, plastic sheeting and kitchen sets to 2,528 families (15,168 people) in Isiolo, Rachuonyo, Homa Bay and Migori. In Isiolo, 600 blankets; 300 sheets of tarpaulin; 300 mosquito nets; 300 kitchen sets; 300 jerry cans; 324,000 chlorine tablets; 1,200 bars of soap; 518 bales of maize flour; 24 bags of beans; and 675 kilos (kg) of cooking fat were distributed to 1,800 people.

The Kenya Red Cross Society also responded to 100 families affected by floods in Kisumu; 200 blankets; 100 sheets of tarpaulin; and 100 kitchen sets were distributed. In Rachuonyo, the society distributed blankets and sheets of tarpaulin to 2,268 people, while non food items were also distributed to 1,800 people displaced in Homa Bay.


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

Objective 3: To preposition relief stocks in Kisumu branch warehouse


The Kenya Red Cross Society delivered additional relief stocks to the Kisumu branch warehouse to be prepositioned to cover any disaster in the Western and Nyanza provinces. The warehouse now has stocks that should adequately cater for 700 families.


1,500 blankets; 1,700 tarpaulins; 200 jerrycans; 1,200 kitchen sets; 1,500 mosquito nets; 1,200 bars of soap have been prepositioned in the Kisumu branch warehouse.

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

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

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

In Kenya: Esther Okwanga, Head: East Africa Sub Regional Office; Email:; Phone; Fax

In Kenya: Anitta Underlin, Head of Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email:; Phone; Fax

In Geneva: Amna al Ahmar, Federation Regional Officer for East Africa, Africa Department.; Email:; Phone 41.22.730.98.41; 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


(1) Kenya Red Cross Society -