, GENEVA, Jan 8 – Some 30,000 people have been affected by floods caused by torrential rains in Kenya, the UN humanitarian office said Friday, warning that the heavy flooding could lead to a cholera epidemic.
"Heavy rainfall between 27 December 2009 and 5 January 2009 has caused massive flooding in northern, central and western Kenya leaving 30,000 people affected by floods," said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
In the north, 10,000 people have lost their homes, and there are "heightened concerns for a cholera outbreak" in the region\’s Turkana district.
"The main concern from these floods in Kenya is cholera. Last December, the Turkana district faced an unprecedented cholera outbreak," said Byrs.
"We fear that this epidemic will reemerge and spread," she added, pointing out that chlorination tablets are required to purify water.
In affected zones, roads, bridges and infrastructure such as school buildings have been damaged, while thousands of livestock have also been washed away.
"Crops have also been damaged although the impact is yet to be fully assessed," added Byrs.
On Tuesday, Kenyan police said 34 people have lost their lives in the floods.