89 killed in Kenya floods since March

May 17, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – Eighty nine people have so far been killed by the torrential rains that have pounded the country since March, according to the latest Kenya Red Cross statistics.

Head of Disaster Management Abdulshakur Abdulla told Capital News on Monday that nine people had died since Thursday and about 130,000 people had been affected by the floods in various parts of the country.

“In Samburu we have five persons who died and the body of one child is still missing and today (Monday) we received an update again from Isiolo where three people have been swept away,” Mr Abdulla said.

“The Ewaso Nyiro river on the Samburu side, river Nzoia and Nyando rivers have been filling up,” he added.

Mr Abdulla said the Tana River broke its banks on Saturday and there were people who were marooned on the Mwingi and Tharaka districts border.

“There are 16 farmers who had been marooned by the floods in that part and had to be airlifted using Kenya airforce helicopters on Saturday,” he said.

Last Thursday, the government issued a high alert that flooding was expected in the lower Tana including Garissa and Tana River districts on Saturday.

“The water takes about 72 hours to reach Garissa and then after that it continues to the Tana delta so by tomorrow (Tuesday) the water should have reached Garissa if the rains continue at the current rate,” the KRCS official said.

“We are holding our breath, we dont know how bad its going to be but what is for sure is that there is an alert,” he said.

Mr Abdulla added that in Kirinyaga district, the swelling of Thimba river over the weekend led to 138 households being evacuated.

He also said that another 570 people had been displaced as a result of rockslides in Mt Elgon district.

He said following the Sh538 million emergency appeal last week to assist the affected people in various parts of the country, the humanitarian organisation had received some pledges.

“We have had soft pledges internationally which means it is money promised but not received. We are still appealing for more funding to be able to help more people,” he said.

He said the humanitarian organisation was working with the provincial administration to alert people on the need for them to move away from the high risk areas.

“We are currently using our own standby capacity to be able to help 30,000 people at any one given time so we do need assistance both from within the country and internationally,” he said.

According to the meteorological department, the next three days will see a reduction in rainfall intensity over most parts of the country but relatively heavy rainfall is expected to persist over the Western areas and parts of the central highlands, Nairobi area.


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