Kenya: Floods - Residents Count Losses

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Turkana East District, in North Rift region of Kenya has experienced torrential rains and floods that have claimed lives, displaced populations and shuttered infrastructure worth millions of shillings.

Over the last two weeks, heavy rains and floods have been reported in more than 15 districts in Kenya, mostly in the North Rift, South Rift, West Kenya, Lower Eastern and Nairobi. Three more human lives lost due to floods were confirmed in Turkana Central on 5th January 2010. So far, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) search and rescue teams have confirmed 24 human deaths and more than 6,000 livestock killed by raging floods.

Daniel Ekal, 30, a resident of Loiyo village in Turkana East District lost three houses and all household goods, which were swept away by the floods when a nearby canal burst its banks and flooded their camp.

"I lost my iron-roofed house and two huts. The floods swept away my goats, killing one goat and breaking the legs of another," said Ekal, who is disabled in both legs, when he went to seek help at the KRCS Turkana Branch Office.

The Branch Coordinator, Edung Ethuro, is coordinating distribution of relief aid to residents in Lokori and other parts of the district. However, the enormity of the problem means more aid will be required to address the needs of more than 4,000 households in the larger Turkana district.

Also at the KRCS Branch Offfice, was a student from a nearby school, which was extensively damaged by floods, seeking assistance as he had lost all books and his primary school certificate.

Hundreds of people are now camping on higher grounds and in dire need of relief aid.

At least 70,000 people have been affected by the current floods, with 30,000 of them requiring urgent relief assistance,' said the KRCS Secretary General, Abbas Gullet, during a press briefing at the Society's offices in Nairobi.


In Turkana East District, floods in Lokori division destroyed two canals, draining water into the irrigation schemes and villages of Morulem, Lokubae, Katilia, and Elelea.

Most areas of the division are inaccessible by road, leaving air intervention as the only means to reach hundreds of those marooned in Lomoyenakwan, Kidewa, Nalikotolem and Kakolenyatuny. Some of the affected communities have been evacuated to Kangitit, which is a higher ground, while some are camping at Lokori RCEA Church.

More than 800 acres of sorghum and maize crops in Katilu and Nakwamoru irrigation schemes were washed away by floods, that also swept away five bridges, destroyed 6,664 houses, two schools and two health centres.