OCHA Flash Update #6: Floods in Kenya | 7 June 2018

Situation Report
Originally published


- An estimated 800,000 people have been affected by the floods countrywide.
- The death toll from ongoing rainfall and flooding has risen to 186.
- Interventions to assist 592,000 people in 25 counties are ongoing.
- The UN Central Emergency Response Fund has allocated US$5 million for the response.

Situation Overview

The death toll from heavy rains and flooding in Kenya has risen to 186, and an estimated 800,000 people have been affected, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS). This includes an estimated 300,000 who have been displaced and nearly 100 injured, although many of those displaced have begun to return home.

Children have been severely affected. There are reports of unaccompanied and separated children due to the floods and heightened protection risks for women and girls. It is estimated that about 18,725 children (55 per cent girls) will require support to ensure their safety and psychosocial well-being. Data gathered from the SMS-based education surveys supported by UNICEF and conducted by Ministry of Education and the Education in Emergencies working group indicates that over 739 schools have closed temporarily due to floods, disrupting learning for more than 100,000 children (44 per cent girls), of which 448 report extensive infrastructure damage (especially classrooms and latrines), and 329 are hosting displaced persons.

Counties most affected by flooding include Garissa, Isiolo, Kisumu, Mandera, Marsabit, Narok, Samburu, Taita-Taveta, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir and West-Pokot, according to the National Disaster Operational Centre. Mandera and Tana River counties have the highest levels of displacement. However, the KRCS reports that there are increasing humanitarian needs in counties in central and western provinces due to prolonged rainfall. An estimated 35,000 people have been affected in counties in the west of Kenya, with some households still living in displacement camps.

A number of roads, including the Embu-Meru road and Kanjama-Kiriaini road in Murang’a County, were temporarily blocked following mudslides on 23 May, leaving motorists stranded. In Kangema sub-county, residents were forced to vacate their houses after they were destroyed by landslides and some 250 people were relocated to safer, according to KRCS. Mandera and Wajir, which had suffered infrastructural damages, are now accessible.

Health partners remain concerned regarding the increased risk of health emergencies, including cholera outbreaks in affected areas, due to poor sanitation and lack of access to clean water. According to the Ministry of Health, as of 4 June, active cholera cases were reported in eight counties, including Elgeyo Marakwet, Garissa, Isiolo, Kiambu, Nairobi, Tharaka Nithi, Turkana and West Pokot. In Western and Nyanza provinces, cases of malaria could increase as a result of the flooding, with further rainfall expected in the weeks ahead.

Weather Forecast

The March to May 2018 (MAM) seasonal rainfall at some stations, such as Narok, Eldoret-Kapsoya and Makindu, was the highest recorded in the last 50 years, according to the Kenya Meteorological Department. The rainfall outlook for June-July-August (JJA) 2018 indicates that the western highlands, Lake Victoria Basin, parts of Central Rift Valley and north-western Kenya are likely to receive near normal rainfall that is likely to be slightly enhanced. The forecast of enhanced rainfall in western Kenya is expected to lead to improvement in crop performance and subsequent agricultural production. The cloudy and drizzly conditions in central highlands are likely to be favourable for maturing of crops planted during the MAM season. The forecast of generally sunny and dry weather in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) is expected to be conducive for the return of people displaced by the floods, but could lead to water scarcity and reduced pasture for livestock towards the end of August and in September 2018, according to the Meteorological Department. Transport problems are likely to continue in areas where roads were rendered impassable by the heavy MAM 2018 rains.

Humanitarian Response

The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has approved an allocation of US$5 million to support the life-saving response to people affected by floods in Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kisumu, Mandera, Tana River and Turkana counties. The response includes water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health activities, provision of shelter and non-food items, and prevention and response to protection concerns and gender-based violence.

National and local governments, together with the KRCS and humanitarian partners, continue to assist flood-affected people countrywide. Interventions to assist at least 592,200 people are ongoing, according to inputs received from partners, including distribution of emergency shelter, integrated health outreaches, cash interventions for people displaced by the floods, and emergency water treatment are ongoing. County and national governments continue to provide food assistance to displaced communities.

Inputs from partners indicate that 109,866 people have already received shelter and NFI support, including through the distribution of temporary shelter materials, sleeping mats, blankets and cooking utensils from the KRCS and partners. A further 81,628 are being reached through ongoing interventions. Following the collapse of the Solai Patel Dam, which caused loss of lives and homes, the KRCS disbursed cash to over 1,000 households. The cash will assist those affected to seek alternative shelter as they await reconstruction of their destroyed homes.

WASH projects for about 400,400 people in eleven counties (Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kisumu, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir) are ongoing. Health partners are reaching about 521,500 people in 26 counties though health interventions and support to county health departments, including provision of cholera rapid diagnostic test kits, cholera kits, equipment and supplies for managing cholera treatment centres, and mapping of cholera hotspots to enhance case management. Kenya Inter-Agency Rapid Assessments have been conducted in Kilifi, Marsabit, Tana River and Turkana, while assessments in Kisumu and Wajir counties are ongoing.

Damage to infrastructure continues to inhibit access and timely delivery of assistance to affected people countrywide.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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