Operations Update: Kenya - Floods update No. 6

Situation Report
Originally published


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

The Situation

Torrential rains continue to pound various parts of Kenya. Some of the latest worst hit areas include Ijara, Garsen, Garissa and Budalangi. Some areas are still totally cut off from the rest of the country. In Ijara, for instance, some students were unable to reach home after closing school due to the floods, as they were marooned. In Budalangi, the collapsing of dykes has led to flooding which has left more than 10,000 people displaced. According to the Kenya Red Cross Society, 44 have died as a result of the floods countrywide.

Coast Province

In Garsen, over 1,804 households have been affected. Most of the displaced people are camped at Kibaoni and Orna area. Others have camped at Idsowe, Gamba and Jamazo. Due to flooding in Tana River, the worst hit area is Mzanini Ndera location. However, the Pokomo side is also affected and people have started to move to safer grounds. There are no boats in the area to evacuate the affected people since the roads are inaccessible. The rescue team has been forced to use a small canoe for evacuation purposes. There are fears of attacks from crocodile and hippos from the infected Tana River.

Tana River: Internally displaced people (IDP) from ten villages are currently camped at Morokani and Bale, 25km from Bura town. Lack of proper sanitation and shelter materials are the main concern. Diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia have been detected and are a threat to children and the aged. The only dispensary in the area is in Bura, 17km away, but is inaccessible and with insufficient medical personnel to cope with a disease outbreak. A total of 1,087 families at six camps situated in different schools were identified by mission teams. Six other camps were marooned while two camps were not accessed.

Residents have expressed delay in receiving relief items from relief agencies. In addition, the poor inaccessible road conditions have made it difficult for rescue personnel to access the affected communities. Also, those marooned cannot be reached due to lack of rescue facilities and equipment. Aerial support is needed to rescue the marooned. The health situation may deteriorate due to poor sanitation and lack of potable water.

Further reports indicate that 303 families are displaced in Chifiri village, while another 86 are displaced in Hola and camped at Laza.

Eastern Province

In Makueni, five children have died due to floods. Three children were swimming in an earth dam that collapsed. The other two perished when a waterlogged well collapsed. According to reports from Arid Lands Resource Management Project (ALRMP) and DDO, five earth dams were breached. The earth dams are located in vulnerable areas and urgent measures are required to provide alternative water sources. Due to the long rains a spate of possible aflatoxin poisoning is anticipated. The earth dams are:

1. Mukuku Earth Dam in Kalawa Division where 3,600 people were affected

2. Mukuyuni Earth Dam in Kibwezi Division where 4,200 people were affected

3. Maana Eli Earth Dam in Kalawa Division where 2,500 people were affected

4. Mutembuku Earth Dam in Kalawa Division where 2,000 people were affected

5. Kalii Earth Dam in Tulimani Division where 1,500 people were affected

In Mwingi, some roads are completely cut off. Houses belonging to 20 families and 85 acres of crops were completely washed away. In Machakos, according to the media, Kwa Kiluli Dam in Kangundo burst its banks on 3rd December 2006 following three days of heavy rains.

Rift Valley Province

In Baringo, there are fears of flooding if the heavy rains persist. However, the Marigat D.O has taken mitigation measures by alerting chiefs to inform the community living near the banks of Pekerra River to move to higher ground. The community has, unfortunately, not heeded to his call. In Nandi North, one person was swept away while crossing River Mitetie, which joins River Mokong and River Yala. River Yala has burst its banks. There are fears of landslides in Kapkagani and Mitetie where around 50 families would be affected if the landslides take place. 147 and 180 people were displaced in Kiptenden and Serogonic respectively and are camped at IDP camps along the roadsides that have food but no shelter. In Kiptenden, four cases of TB have been reported.

Nyanza Province

Two deaths were reported in Nyando district when River Nyando burst its banks on 30th November 2006. 534 people have been displaced in Nyando and are currently at various camps in the district. Due to the overflow of River Nyando, Wangaya, Irrigation, Nyangoma and Ombei areas have been submerged. One man drowned when River Sondu Miriu burst it banks. In lower Nyakach, displaced persons have settled at St. Alloys Secondary and Nyalunya. In Siaya, 153 people have been displaced due to the flooding of River Yala. Uhendo and Mahuro villages in Uranga Divisions are flooded. The old dams have spilled over causing flooding in many areas and leaving five villages completely cut off and roads inaccessible. Dominion Farm and Kadenge are also flooded.

Western Province

In Busia, Khajula area, 900 people are affected, with 230 people having their houses submerged. In Sisenye, 1,000 people are affected - 140 of them critically - while one person died as he was crossing River Bubiri. At Budalangi D.O's office, 6,800 people are affected, with 400 houses submerged following the breaking of dykes. The flooding situation in Budalangi is getting worse by the day.

In Siginga 190 families are displaced, while 240 houses have been submerged in Osieko and Mbulwani. 150 people are camped at Lugali. Following an alarming rate of topping up of the dykes at Makunda Secondary School, the dyke eventually gave way on 30th December 2006 and 8,000 people are now displaced.

Rift Valley Province

In West Pokot, the road joining Chesogon, Kot and Kolwa Division in Baringo East was completely cut off due to the floods, while Muruny bridge has been washed away.

North Eastern and Eastern Provinces

In Isiolo, according to a DSG rapid assessment report, four people have died following heavy rains and resultant flooding. The report indicates 1238 households in Central division were affected and 15 households in Boji sub-location and 88 families in Gafarsa in Garbatulla were completely displaced. Bridges were also washed away. Shortages of food stuffs 3 locations in Merti in Isiolo are not accessible totally. The situation in Isiolo is made worse by the change of land use upstream in the neighbouring Meru District and diversion of a whole stream towards Isiolo town during the road construction in Meru, when it rains in Meru the water is directed towards Isiolo.

In Moyale, three dams were washed away in Ebbor, Holale, and Funanyatta, while 364 toilets in the whole district and 578 semi-permanent houses collapsed. In addition, the road network between Marsabit and Moyale was destroyed. There are fears of an outbreak of water borne diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria in Isiolo and Moyale. Many toilets have collapsed, 500 in Moyale alone, resulting in contamination of water sources. There is an urgent need of 3,000 mosquito nets, aqua tabs and chlorination of water sources, including health education for the communities.

In Marsabit, rainfall has been experienced in the lowlands of North Horr and Loyangalani. Flooding is expected if the rains continue. The road between Illeret and Forole is damaged, thus hampering food distribution. Water is now available in the entire district. However, some areas in the district are inaccessible and this has hampered relief distribution. These areas include Hurri Hill, Illeret, Dukana, Balesaru, Malabot in North Horr and Songa, Badassa and Kituruni in Gadamoji.

In Mandera, River Dawa, along Kenya-Ethiopia border, is overflowing rapidly. The river stretches 200km from Border Point 1 to Malkamari and runs through Mandera town, Khallalio, Hararei, Rhamu, Rhamu Dimtu and Malkamari divisions. Malaria cases are on the increase. There is need for community sensitization on malaria control measures, treatment of water sources and mosquito nets distribution. El Wak and Ashabito divisions are equally affected. Some houses have been destroyed, while several toilets have collapsed El Wak.

In Trans Nzoia, 120 families in Sambwani division are affected as a result of Nzoia River breaking Its banks. There is flooding in Namajalala location due to local community interfering with the natural water ways and settling on lowlands against official advice. There is a possibility that between 150 and 200 families will be affected. In Kwanza Division, flooding has been reported but a confirmation has not been made regarding the number of people affected. Crops have been destroyed before harvest. This is critical noting that Trans Nzoia is the granary of this country.

Red Cross Action

The National Society has sent teams to all the affected areas to conduct rescue operations, distribution of relief items, health interventions and WatSan interventions. The National Society carried out a detailed eight-day assessment mission in Tana River. Non-food items were distributed to 163 families at Makini Primary School.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, Email:

Dr. Asha Mohamed, Deputy Secretary General, Email:

Ahmed Abdi, Acting Head of Disaster Preparedness and Response, Email:

Anthony Mwangi, Public Relations Manager, Email: