NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya is grappling with the aftermath of flash
floods that intensified last week and have claimed dozens of
lives while destroying critical infrastructure like roads and
The torrential rains
that started in the middle of March are to blame for
unprecedented flooding accompanied by displacement of thousands
of people in low-lying parts of the country.
state agencies and Kenya Red Cross indicate that more than 20
people have died as a result of flash floods while property
worth millions of dollars has been destroyed.
department has predicted the heavy downpours will peak later in
April and subside in early May.
to handle emergency disasters has been tested to the limits as
raging floods cut off major road networks, destroy crops and
uproot rural dwellers from their homes.
The low-lying plains
in northern Kenya, the southeastern and coast regions have borne
the brunt of flooding.
in western Kenya neighboring Lake Victoria have in the last few
days experienced heavy flooding and displacement of population.
The main highway
connecting the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, with the coastal city of
Mombasa has been experiencing frequent gridlocks due to heavy
In the last few
days, traveling to the world-famous Maasai Mara game reserve,
located in northwest Kenya, has been a nightmare as flooding cut
off a major road leading to the tourist site.
corridor linking Nairobi to western Kenya and the greater
eastern and central African region has also been affected by
flash floods that have disrupted flow of public service vehicles
and cargo trucks.
As heavy rains
intensify in many parts of the country, relief agencies have
warned of a looming disease outbreak.
Local authorities in
western Kenyan counties affected by floods and displacement of
populations have requested additional resources from the central
government to help prevent a cholera outbreak.
Major cities like
Nairobi and Mombasa have not been spared the negative impacts of
flash floods, as evidenced by traffic snarl-ups and clogged
northeastern part of Kenya is also experiencing raging floods
that have rendered roads impassable.
Local media reported
on Monday that floods continued to wreak havoc in northeastern
counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa, triggering a
Heavy floods in this
vast region already grappling with insecurity hindered supply of
essential commodities like food, medicine and fuel.
urged local communities to vacate their homes and move to higher
grounds in order to escape the wrath of flash floods.
As Kenya grapples
with negative impacts of flooding, experts have called on the
government and regional and international partners to invest in
durable measures like dykes and dams in the country’s low-lying
John Kioli, a
climate expert, said enactment of a national policy on rainwater
harvesting, coupled with restoration of vital ecosystems like
forests and wetlands, are key to cushioning the country against
destructive flash floods.
Disasters caused by heavy rains
kill 41, injure over 160 in Rwanda since March
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
At least 41 people were killed and more than 160
others were injured across Rwanda by disasters triggered by
heavy rains since March, Rwanda’s Ministry of Disaster
Management and Refugee Affairs said on Monday.
The disasters also
killed more than 600 animals, destroyed property including
school structures, more than 3,000 houses and more than 1,700
hectares of plantations, said Philippe Habinshuti, director of
disaster response and recovery of the ministry.
The destruction and
deaths were mainly caused by floods and lightning, Habinshuti
Relief efforts are
ongoing but the government appealed to residents living in high
risk zones to relocate to safer areas, he said.
In 2017, disasters
caused by heavy rains killed 82 people and injured 151. More
than 5,000 houses were destroyed while over 5,000 hectares of
different plantations were also ruined.
Heavy rains kill nine people
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
At least nine people have been killed in
Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam by heavy rains
pounding the city of five million people for three consecutive
days, police said on Monday.
the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander, said the nine
were killed by flash floods and falling walls.
“The victims include
children, women and men and the number might rise as the rains
continue pounding the city,” he told a news conference after he
had conducted air patrol by an helicopter.
Mambosasa said most
areas of the capital have been submerged in the rains that
started on Saturday.
He said authorities,
including the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), had warned
people living in low areas to move out of the areas but most of
them did not take the warning seriously.
Paul Makonda, the
Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, ordered on Monday public
schools to close to avoid more casualties from the rains.
“It is not
convenient to send children to schools in this situation where
vehicles are prone to accidents and infrastructure of some
schools have been destroyed,” said Makonda.
The Dar es Salaam
Rapid Transit (DART), a public transport firm, suspended its
operations, bringing transport to a standstill. The suspension
left many city residents stranded as they failed to report for
According to a
statement released last week by the TMA, the rains were expected
to continue for some time.
mentioned the hardest hit regions as Dar es Salaam, Tanga,
Coast, Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Arusha, and Morogoro.
Others were Mwanza,
Mara, Kagera, Geita, Kigoma, Katavi, Tabora, Shinyanga, Simiyu,
Lindi, and Mtwara.
In April last year,
a 24-hour deluge in Dar es Salaam resulted in the deaths of at
least two people and displacement of hundreds as business almost
came to a standstill.