UNICEF Kenya Flood Situation Report #1 (24 November 2019)

from UN Children's Fund
Published on 24 Nov 2019


  • The National Disaster Operations Center (NDOC) estimates that at least 330,000 people are affected - 18,000 people have been displaced and 120 people have died due to floods and landslides.

  • A total of 6,821 children have been reached through integrated outreach services and 856 people have received cholera treatment through UNICEF-supported treatment centres.

  • A total of 270 households in Turkana County (out of 400 targeted) and 110 households in Wajir county have received UNICEF family emergency kits (including 20-litre and 10-litre bucket), soap and water treatment tablets through partnership with the Kenya Red Cross.

  • UNICEF has reached 55,000 people with WASH supplies consisting of 20-litre jerrycans, 10-litre buckets and multipurpose bar soap.

  • UNICEF has completed solarization of two boreholes reaching approximately 20,500 people with access to safe water in Garissa County.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Kenya has continued to experience enhanced rainfall resulting in flooding since mid-October, negatively impacting the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations. According to the National Disaster Operations Center (NDOC) 24 November 2019 updates, major roads have been cut off in 11 counties, affecting accessibility to affected populations for rapid assessments and delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially in parts of West Pokot, Marsabit, Mandera, Turkana,
Garissa, Lamu, Mombasa, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kwale and Wajir Counties. Key identified response gaps include food, NFIs, WASH, health and shelter assistance. County governments are seeking air asset support to provide life-saving assistance to the displaced populations. The NDOC estimates that at least 18,000 people have been displaced and 120 have died due to the floods by 24 November 2019, of which 72 deaths are from massive landslides in West Pokot.

According to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), the planning scenario from October 2019 to March 2020 may exceed 220,000 people affected by floods as more counties are expected to be impacted by flooding until December, with the cumulative effects lasting until early 2020 (KRCS, 01.11.2019).

According to UNICEF assessments, health and hygiene remains a concern due to the submerging of toilets and contamination of the water supply, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, especially cholera. It is expected that the 4,747 cholera cases and 37 deaths already reported (MoH Sitrep 25.11.2019) will increase further by mid-December. A total of 53 health facilities and 114 outreach sites in Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River and Mandera counties are inaccessible due to floods. A total of 11 outreach sites in Garissa county, nine outreach sites in Mandera County, 14 outreaches in Turkana County as well as 26 health facilities and outreach sites in Tana River county remain inaccessible in areas that have been cut off due to floods, negatively affecting health and nutrition services. In Baringo and Samburu counties, heavy rains interfered with nutrition surveillance in various parts of the county during integrated outreaches with five sites not reached in Samburu East Sub county. In Mandera County, fourteen outreach sites North Sub County which were not accessible in the previous weeks are now accessible.

A key challenge in the ongoing response is that an adequate recovery period will be required to re-establish livelihoods, especially where livestock and other productive assets have been lost. Many communities are still recovering from the severe drought situation earlier in the year in which 3.1 million people faced food insecurity by October 2019, and therefore still have existing vulnerabilities. An unspecified number of schools in Turkana, West Pokot, Wajir and Mandera are being used as temporary shelters for displaced families. School infrastructure especially latrines, water storage facilities, classrooms, food stores and food have been damaged by rains, with 22 schools in Mandera, 34 in Marsabit and 8 in Wajir being the most affected and without rehabilitation of affected facilities during the school vacation, the education of over 12,000 children is at risk come first term of 2020 school year. A total of 5,861 (3,468 girls, 2,393 boys) children have been displaced by landslides in West Pokot.

According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, heavy rains are expected to continue across the country up to mid-December, causing bursting of the banks of major rivers and dams. As November is normally the peak month for the October-November-December (OND) “short-rains” season, most parts of the country are likely to experience above average rainfall with heavy rains likely to continue in several parts of the country during the period. This coupled with the already saturated grounds is likely to continue causing floods and landslides in affected parts of the country. Flood alerts have been issued especially for Coastal, Northern and Western regions of the country, with the risk of landslides and mudslides expected in parts of the Central Highlands and parts of the Rift Valley, including West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet and Nandi counties.