Kenya + 1 more

Kenya: WFP shifts humanitarian base for south Sudan

NAIROBI, 26 May (IRIN) - The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) has temporarily shifted its humanitarian operations for south Sudan to western Kenya after floods damaged part of the road to the Lokichoggio base in northern Kenya.
WFP said it had begun air-dropping food aid to southern Sudan from Eldoret airport following the collapse of the key Otto bridge last week which links the Lokichoggio humanitarian base with the rest of the country.

"Resorting to moving the operation to Eldoret was critical to avoid a massive disruption of food aid to war and drought-affected populations in southern Sudan," WFP said in a statement.

Spokeswoman Brenda Barton told IRIN on Monday that the situation of the road had not changed much since last week.

She said some sections had been repaired but they could only be used by small vehicles and not the heavy trucks needed to transport bulky food items. The shift from Lokichoggio to Eldoret had increased the agency's operating costs by about 30 percent, she added.

The Kenyan authorities said they were trying to provide a temporary alternative passage for humanitarian trucks, while repairs to the Otto bridge continued.

The floods, resulting from heavy rains which have pounded the region since late April, have killed at least 77 people in Kenya.

[ENDS]

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