OCHA Flash Update #1: Floods in Kenya | 25 April 2018
• Floods have displaced over 211,000 people across Kenya and reportedly killed 72 people.
• The Masinga and Kamburu dams are reaching dangerously high levels.
• Dadaab refugee camp has also been affected and hundreds of refugees have taken shelter in schools.
Floods have displaced more than 211,000 people and reportedly killed 72 people and injured 33 across Kenya since March 2018. The most affected counties are Turkana, Tana River, Garissa, Isiolo, Kisumu, Taita, Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, West Pokot, Samburu and Narok, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS). The floods have disrupted livelihoods, with at least 8,450 acres of farmland submerged in water and more than 6,000 livestock killed, destroyed houses and damaged infrastructure, such as roads and health facilities.
About 50,000 people are reportedly stranded in several villages in Moyale, near the border with Ethiopia, after a road linking them to the border town was cut off by floods. They have reportedly not been able to access food and water supplies for 10 days.
In Nyeri, residents of Lamuria and Kiawara have reportedly been forced to seek refuge in schools after their homes were flooded.
Dadaab refugee camps, which host over 225,000 refugees, have also been affected. According to UNHCR, hundreds of refugees have been forced to take shelter in schools and pit latrines are overflowing, leading to concerns over cholera and other water-borne diseases.
The Masinga and Kamburu dams, which are both fed by water from Mount Kenya, are reaching dangerously high levels. If rains continue, authorities may be forced to release water from the dams, which could have humanitarian consequences for villages downstream in Tana River and Garissa. People in east and central regions have been advised to move to higher ground because of flood risks. The River Tana and Tana Delta have already flooded, reportedly submerging thousands of acres of farm lands and sweeping away crops. There is also concern about crocodile attacks, with one man in the Tana Delta area reportedly already attacked. In Tana River County, about 50,000 people have had to leave their homes.
The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) has warned that heavy rains and thunderstorms are expected to continue, including in the Lake Victoria region, the highlands around the Rift Valley and the north-eastern counties of Marsabit, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir and Garissa. KMD has called on Kenyans to be prepared for flooding, as water levels have already surpassed the usual season’s average.
The KRCS, supported by the International Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement, UN agencies and NGOs partners, is assisting the national authorities to provide assistance and support to those most severely impacted by the floods. So far, more than 10,000 households have been assisted with shelter materials, and buckets, soap, blankets and some food items have been distributed to households in Turkana and Nandi counties.
The next Flash Update will be issued as required, as soon as more information is available.