Operations Update: Kenya - Floods update No. 5

Situation Report
Originally published
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This Information Bulletin (no. 4/2006) reflects the information available at this time.

The Situation

The rains continue to hit many parts of the country. According to media reports, many parts that were formerly dry have now flooded because of the unceasing rainfall. New regions that greatly affected include numerous areas in Western Kenya including Nyamasaria in Kisumu, as well as parts of Busia.

The Kenya Red Cross Society sent out a preliminary appeal early this month to support 300,000 people for a period of three months. However, due to the increasing rainfall, the number of those affected has greatly increased. Over 37 people have now been reported dead after renewed rainfall and, after a meeting with UNOCHA it was conclusively established that over 723,000 have been affected countrywide.

North Eastern Province

In Garissa, most of the roads are still impassable. Food will be airlifted using military helicopters to areas such as Shanta-Habak division, while food distribution will go on in the accessible areas. In Faka division, 7000 IDPs have not received food for two weeks. Meanwhile, 100 households who have been camping at Naja Children's Home are now being asked to move away from the children's home.

There are more than 800 people in IDP camps, where the major issue of concern is health. The National Society is carrying out disease surveillance and hygiene education in the community and have found a few cases of malaria. Some of those who are displaced have settled in the camps as follows:

Mororo - 300 households

FTC-Ziwani - 250 households

NEP Polytechnic- 200 households

Yuga Primary School- 250 households

Young Muslim Secondary School- 200 households

Najah Children Centre- 150 households

As of 27th November 2006, there were 64 under-five-year olds admitted in the Provincial General Hospital which has a bed capacity of 48. According to Dr Khadija the Hospital Superintendent, 22 out of these are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting. The situation is however under control though the hospital is on high alert and carrying out culture tests to investigate any signs of cholera outbreak. Though the upsurge of in-patients in the hospital is normal during the month of December, it has increased due to flooding and displacements. Six (6) water supply systems have been damaged and are not in working condition and therefore the communities served by these water systems are not accessing safe and potable water.

Central Province

About 35 households in Njeengu location, Nyeri Municipality were submerged leaving about 270 people displaced in an area that was formerly a quarry. The Branch Chairman is still negotiating with the area Member of Parliament to find out how to move the people completely from the quarry to a safer place.

In Ikinu location, about 30 people were marooned in their houses due to floods. The National Society has responded to their plight.

Rift Valley Province

In Keiyo District, a fact-finding mission was conducted to establish the amount of damage caused in the area after the three-day downpour, which resulted in floods and landslides. The mission established who the affected were, their location, road network, distances to be covered, and the needs of the people. Some areas are still unreachable e.g. Epke where a total of 11 houses were completely destroyed by the floods and boulders. In addition, maize farms and domestic animals were swept away.

In Kaptarakwa location, approximately 35km from Iten town, one person was killed, three hospitalised and about 288 people affected by the floods. Fortunately, those who are injured are now in stable condition. The affected people are currently being sheltered in classrooms at Toroplong'o Primary School. They were rescued from Epke. The families include a total of 100 children below the age of 10, and 20 people aged above 65. These are the people that are most affected by the extremely cold conditions. The roads in this area have become impassable and due to the mist, they are experiencing poor visibility. The terrain is also steep and slippery and it is extremely hard to ferry relief items to the affected areas.

Nyanza Province

Oroba stream in Kisumu District is getting more water from the Nandi Escarpment leaving 30 families displaced and houses submerged in Ombeyi. Two deaths have been reported in Milenya, one of them a woman whose house collapsed on her, while the other is a man who drowned in Nyaludhiego river. Thirty people have been relocated to Milenya Primary School. In Kigoche, Nyalenda, and Masara the number of families displaced were 30, 20, and 15 respectively. The areas of Kogwedhi, Ayweyo, Sango Rota are at risk of flooding

In Siaya, one child is reported to have died while 40 affected families have been supported and relocated to a primary school. In total, 400 people are affected in Siaya. The District Commissioner and his team are currently carrying out an assessment. In Dunga, Kisumu district, 150 families affected by the floods moved to Nanga primary school and the National Society supported them with non-food items.

In Nyando district, 163 people were displaced and 557 affected by the floods. The National Society helped those affected and moved non-food items to Nyando to support 200 families. In Migori/Nyatike, the area is flooded but there are no displaced people. However, if the rainfall continues the area will be in need of assistance. Apart from the river Nyando, the Sondu Miriu has also burst its banks with KRCS and local authorities on the ground carrying out an assessment of this worsening situation. There are fears of malaria and diarrhoeal diseases.

Coast Province

In Garsen, due to flooding in Mitpani, 45 families have been displaced and forced to move to Garsen while in Iskadyk, 97 families have been displaced. It is very difficult to reach that area although KRCS did its distribution in Vumwe, 4km from Kulesa.

About 117 households were moved from Korolabe to Jamatho close to Vumwe. The villages of Muzina, Dumi, Peponi will move to higher ground soon. There is a river passing through Garsen town which has flooded. People in Garsen are also on high alert. In Gamba location 145 households have been displaced and one person has been reported missing. Crocodiles have caused havoc in Mnazini. In Lunga Lunga many areas could not be easily accessed. Fifty households from Peponi and 60 from Matomba are camped along Gamba Road. In total, about 1804 households have been affected. The National Society is yet to reach 1542 households - 641 are in Bahati Mnazini having camped at Kibaoni.

In Bura, toilet slabs are needed urgently. Ngamano and Chewele Primary Schools, Mitumbini, Nonjoni and Kumbi areas are all marooned. The roads are not accessible and thus it is impossible to transport food and non-food items to the victims. Over 700 families have been displaced and according to the Red Cross Action Team, the relief supply is not enough for those affected. Cases of diarrhoea, abdominal pains, malaria and fever were also reported in the area.

Water coming from Garissa has now reached Rhoka village and the people are moving out from their farms to higher ground and into the administration police houses, which are on higher level. Currently the worst hit area is Mzanini Ndera location. There are no boats for evacuation; however, the KRCS is using a small canoe to evacuate those marooned. Nevertheless, the canoes are not safe enough since the Tana River is infested with crocodiles and hippos. The Kenya Wildlife Service has been requested to assist them with their boat which has a capacity of 10 passengers per trip. The National Society will support with fuel and engine oil.

In Kilifi, the Ministry of Works has started repairing the damaged roads. Houses affected by the floods have started collapsing in a number of areas e.g. Junju, Kikambala in Chonyi, Kolewa. The National Society has donated 5 tins (7000 tablets) purification tablets in the area.

In Lamu, Kipini area has been completely cut off leaving 600 families marooned. The area has become totally inaccessible and the people can only be reached using boats. The National Society has requested for assistance from the Kenya Air Force to evacuate those affected. There are plans to transport the National Society's boat from Lamu town to assist in evacuation.

Eastern Province

Heavy downpour in Meru has caused flooding in Isiolo though the water level has reduced. The area is inaccessible since the roads are heavily flooded thus transport is a problem. In Meru South in Mitheru location, there are possibilities of more landslides if the rainfall continues. The National Society visited Mutonga Quarry and they have sensitized the workers/owners on the dangers of another landslide this year, seeing that last year, 5 people were killed at the same place. However, the people are not willing to move from the quarry because this is where they earn their daily living.

In Mwingi, 20 families have had their houses washed away while 85 acres of crops on farmland have been destroyed. Roads that were previously cut off are currently under repair.

Western Province

According to the Busia District DEO, 1400 families have affected. In Lugari, 100 families have been displaced and are camping at Lugari Primary School.

Red Cross Action

In Nyeri, the affected people were given blankets, tarpaulins, kitchen sets, second hand clothes and food. Food from well-wishers and the government was also distributed.

In Busia, the affected people were given 350 tarpaulins, 350 mosquito nets, 700 blankets, 350 kitchen sets, 883 chlorine tabs and 350 piece soaps for 700 people affected. Maize, beans, rice and cooking oil will be distributed by the government on 29th November 2006.

In Keiyo, relief items were distributed to 44 families. Each family received the following items: 2 blankets, 2 mosquito nets, 1 collapsible water jerry can, 1 kitchen set, and 4 pieces of soap.

Two adult dispensary kits, paediatric kits, IV fluid, amongst other medical items were transported to Garissa to be used in the IDP camps. In addition, 4 Iranian tents, 4 hospital tents from the ICRC, a rub hall and water were also sent to the area.

In Garissa, the National Society is using a designed tally sheet and for the last 3 days they have been reports of malaria and dysentery. The Society has been appointed lead agency in floods operations in Garissa. The Garissa Branch volunteers are currently building sanitation facilities in the camp where the people affected are staying. The Branch will build 10 pit latrines; so far, 4 toilets have been completed and are now in use. The Branch has placed 4 rubber tanks which were used during the drought and they hold a total of 3500 - 7500 litres of water. These have been distributed as follows: 2 tanks are in Farmers Training College while two others are in Hyuga Primary School.

A rapid needs assessment on water and sanitation in the camps has been conducted in Garissa. The National Society distributed 28,000 aqua tabs in the camps and 14,000 in Bura Division along with demonstrations on the proper use of aquatabs among the IDPs. Three plastic water storage tanks (7,500 litres capacity) have been taken to Young Muslim Secondary School, FTC-Ziwani and Yuga Primary School. Four emergency pit latrines have been constructed at FTC-Ziwani. Health education and promotion has been conducted in all the camps through 2 PHAST ToTs and 4 Community Health Workers. Community sensitization has been done on the link between water contamination/unsafe water and water borne and related diseases.

On 28th November 2006 the Secretary General together with other members of the Red Cross Movement visited the affected areas to further assess the situation.

The National Society has facilitated the formation of a Health committee in the camps whose members are charged with the responsibility of water treatment at source. Water sources used by the IDPs has been sampled and analyzed. This revealed 1050 coli forms per 100mls sample was present in water from the river meaning that the water is highly polluted with human waste.

The National Society has also managed to reach Bura-Tana. A total of 978 IDPs are in six IDP centres. Food and non-food items have been distributed to 163 households.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, Email;

Asha Mohamed, Deputy Secretary General, Email;

Abdi Shakur, Ag Head of Department, Disaster Preparedness and Response, Email

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