Kenya: Nearly 10,000 affected by floods in Western Province

NAIROBI, 13 April (IRIN) - Nearly 10,000 people have been affected by extensive flooding in western Kenya, especially in Nyando District, Western Province, where a river burst its banks and inundated 166 homes, the Kenya Red Cross said on Tuesday. Two people had drowned, it added.
"Thousands of those affected have been displaced from their homes," Tony Mwangi, Kenya Red Cross public relations officer, told IRIN. "The water level in the river is still rising and we expect more flooding in the nearby Budalangi area."

Nyando is about 500 km west of the capital, Nairobi, while Budalangi is another 50 km farther west. The two areas are prone to flooding. Last year 25,000 people there were affected by floods, Mwangi said. This year, he added, the number of those affected was likely to be lower because the government had erected dykes to prevent the floods from spreading.

"We are setting up temporary camps on higher ground to accommodate some of the people," Mwangi told IRIN. "We have provided tarpaulins, blankets, chlorine tablets, jerry cans, mobile latrines and mosquito nets as an initial response."

He said the entire sanitation system in the area had been affected. "There is a danger of a disease outbreak, and we have sent a team of volunteers to assess the situation," Mwangi said.

Local media reports in the capital, Nairobi, said between six and 11 people had been killed by the floods. The reports said thousands of displaced people were camping in church and school compounds in Nyando. Heavy rains had also destroyed roads in Nyamira District, while people in the Coast Province had appealed to the government to monitor the River Tana, which drains water from the Mt Kenya region.


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