Floods death toll rises to 219 as government warns of more deluge

The country will continue experiencing heavy rainfall, accompanied by thunderstorms and a total of 33 counties have been listed by the government among those to be affected.

The Ministry of Interior and National Administration on the morning of Saturday further said that 219 people have lost their lives. Nine people died in the past 24 hours.

An additional 164 people have been reported injured and 72 people are still missing.

“More caution is advised as the weather outlook continues to predict heavy to very heavy rainfall and thunderstorms over 33 Counties during this weekend with floods expected in low-lying areas, riparian areas, and urban areas,” a statement by the Ministry revealed.

The country has been mapped thus:

Central region (Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Nyandarua); Rift Valley (Nandi, Bomet, Nakuru, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Baringo, Samburu, Turkana, Uasin Gishu, Laikipia, Narok); Western (Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia); Lake Victoria Basin (Kisumu, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Siaya, Homabay); Eastern (Machakos, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Marsabit); and Nairobi.

Over the past 24 hours; the counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Baringo, Nyeri, Nakuru, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Embu, Laikipia, Trans Nzoia, Bomet, Kakamega, Kilifi, Busia, Kajiado, Garissa and Homabay have suffered flooding.

Also, there has been an increase in the number of landslides and mudslides with occurences reported in West Pokot, Embu, Machakos, Makueni, and Nakuru counties.

“Areas prone to landslides and mudslides in various counties have been identified as high-risk and neighbouring settlements are being evacuated to temporary shelters for displaced persons coordinated by County Security Committees,” the statement revealed.

The teams are busy coordinating the evacuation and relocation of people living within a 30-meter riparian corridor of rivers and other water courses across the country.

The relocation of people follows a directive issued by President William Ruto who addressed the nation on Friday, May 3, 2024.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers are actively engaged in Mai Mahiu and Nakuru County where a mudslide left 53 dead. The bodies have been retrieved, 41 positively identified and their families informed.

“Elsewhere, the search and rescue operation in Joska in Machakos County has ended with 59 people rescued and no reported fatalities,” the statement revealed.

By Saturday, May 4, 2024, 138 camps had been sent up across 18 counties to offer temporary shelter to those affected and displaced by the ongoing rain.

The camps, according to the Ministry, are hosting a total of 62,061 people from 14 counties, while households are being supported with food and non-food essentials until the floods subside.

“The list of the actual location of the temporary shelters in each county has been published and is publicly displayed at the offices of the respective Assistant Chiefs, Chiefs, Assistant County Commissioners, Deputy County Commissioners and County Commissioners,” the Ministry said.

“Rice and beans totalling 1,226,400 Kg have been distributed to support affected communities in Busia, Homabay, Kisumu, Machakos, Makueni, Tana River, Kilifi, Nakuru, Garissa, Turkana, Isiolo, Migori, Kajiado, Nairobi, Nyandarua, Kiambu and Murang’a counties,” the Ministry added.

“The strong winds and large ocean waves mostly in Kwale and Kilifi, accompanied by heavy rainfall forecasted to be occasioned by Cyclone Hidaya, have seen the Kenya Coast Guard Service, on high alert and positioned in Kilifi, Mombasa, Shimoni, Lamu, Tana River and Garissa counties to offer assistance,” the statement added.

The government is also carrying out assessment of damaged roads and mobilising resources to address critical sections and to restore safe travel.

Over the weekend, as the heavy rain persisted, residents and travellers were advised to exercise caution in parts of Nyanza, Western, Rift Valley and Eastern.

Equally, some roads have been rendered impassable due to water overflows and roads cut off in Kapenguria, Lokichar, Lodwar Highway, the Nakuru-Eldoret road at Timboroa Market and Oletepesi-Magadi Road.

“Debris has blocked culverts and drainage systems, exacerbating water stagnation and flooding. Strong water currents have eroded some roads making them dangerous for vehicle passage,” the Ministry said.

Most urban areas, including Nairobi, have experienced increased water stagnation, which has led to the emergence of potholes and damaged roads.

In the Coast and North Eastern, many roads are partially flooded. Indeed, the Habaswein-Abakore-Dadaab road is impassable.

“Key road infrastructure has sustained damage, complicating travel and transport. Warnings remain regarding the Tana River Bridge in Mororo Area and the Garissa-Madogo road,” the statement said.

In the Central Region, heavy rains triggered landslides, especially in hilly areas, thereby increasing the risk of motor vehicle accidents.

People have been advised to avoid unnecessary travel and follow advisories from Government and local authorities.

Meanwhile, County Security Committees across the country have been given guidelines on how to collaborate with stakeholders and county governments.

They should conduct outreach programmes to sensitise the public on disaster preparedness, evacuation procedures and emergency response measures.

Second, they should identify and publicise assembly points for those relocating or are being evacuated, reception centres at the temporary shelter camps and put in place verifiable documentation procedures for all persons hosted within each temporary shelter camp.

Third, they should collaborate with the respective County Governments and stakeholders to realise effective flood mitigation efforts and a coordinated response to emergencies.


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