NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The raging floods that have engulfed Kenya since
this March have claimed 132 lives and displaced 222,456 others,
the government said on Wednesday.
Karanja Kibicho, the
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, called on
Kenyans to exercise caution and extreme care during heavy rains
in flood prone areas.
indicate that 222,456 people have been displaced by floods
while, sadly, another 132 lives have been lost in the floods,”
Kibicho said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
He said a multi-sectoral
team which had been formed since the onset of the rainy season
in March has been working round the clock to rescue flood
victims as well as to provide food and medicines to citizens in
all the affected 32 counties in the East African nation.
Kibicho said the
government has so far distributed food worth 6 million U.S.
dollars and large quantities of essential medicines to prevent
or contain outbreak of water borne diseases.
“The government will
continue to carry out various mitigation activities across the
floods affected parts of the country to rescue marooned
citizens, distribute food, medicines and water, and restore
water and sanitation systems to ensure hygienic conditions,”
The East African
nation has been experiencing unprecedented flooding in recent
days as torrential rains pound the country shortly after it had
come out of a severe drought season marked by hunger and water
The low lying plains
have borne the brunt of floods as evidenced by massive
destruction of homes, farms, infrastructure and basic amenities
like schools and hospitals.
Many schools in the
arid and semi-arid regions are already submerged in floods hence
putting uncertainties on resumption of studies after the April
Major cities have
also been affected by flooding that is to blame for traffic grid
rock and clogged drainage system.
It is feared that an
epidemic could erupt in big cities like Nairobi and Mombasa due
to contamination of drinking water.
Kenya says flooding likely to
compromise food security
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The current flooding in Kenya is likely to compromise food
security in the country, a government official said on Tuesday.
Keriako Tobiko, the
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, attributed the
flooding to climate change as a result of land degradation
emanating from deforestation and poor land use practices.
“People in most
parts of the country are currently counting losses following the
heavy rainfall that has been pounding the country in the past
one month,” Tobiko said during the launch of an integrated
approach program-food security in Nairobi.
Tobiko observed that
the challenges to water security will likely grow as climate
change results in increasingly unpredictable weather events such
as flooding that are now being experienced around the country.
“There is need to
enhance and promote sustainable management and resilience of
ecosystems and their different services for land, water,
biodiversity, and forests as a means to address food insecurity
and at the same time safeguard the long term potential of
critical food systems in response to human changing needs,” he
He warned that the
ravages of climate change across many parts of the country could
get worse as it is likely to usher in conflicts over pasture and
water, human-wildlife conflicts, disruption of learning in
schools and forest fires.
Tobiko noted that
program targets agro-ecological systems that will enhance food
security as well as create direct opportunities to generate
local and global environmental benefits to communities.
He said Kenya
continues to face environmental threats and challenges that must
be tackled in order to realize the desired socio-economic
benefits and regional and global integration in environmental
challenges threaten the realization of sustainable development
in the region at large,” he said.
The CS announced
that Kenya has received 18.9 million U.S. dollars from the
Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to support the establishment
of the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund, a project that will be
implemented by the International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD) and the Nature Conservancy.
Tobiko noted that
the project represents one of the 12 countries’ projects under
the joint Integrated Approach Pilot-Food Security on Fostering
Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan
He said the fund was
established as a multi-stakeholders’ initiative to secure the
sources of water for Nairobi city and Masinga hydropower system
in Eastern Kenya and increase investment flows for sustainable
land management and integrated natural resource management in
the Upper Tana catchment.
“The water fund
model integrates a governance structure and financing mechanisms
for and by the stakeholders for accountable, transparent and
sustainable funding,” he observed.
The Upper Tana
Nairobi Water Fund will particularly contribute to
rehabilitation and protection of water towers, strengthen
environmental governance, water resources management and
implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan.
Kenya faces worst flood crisis
as country grapples with climate change
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya is facing one of its worst floods crises in
years after rainwater displaced thousands of people across the
The rains have been
pounding the East African nation for the last two months.
Up to 32 of the 47
counties have been affected by floods but the worst are among
those in arid regions, which normally receive little rainfall.
counties in the dry North namely Mandera, and Garissa and at the
Coast like Tana River and Kilifi and in Eastern Machakos and
Up to 300,000 people
have been affected by floods, according to the Kenya Red Cross,
and they are in dire need of food, water, clothing and shelter.
agency has also noted that over 70,000 animals have been washed
away, hundreds of acres of crops destroyed and thousands of
homes marooned by floods.
Tens of schools have
further been destroyed by floods, affecting learning in several
regions across the country.
A number of schools
are hosting flood victims as hundreds of learners fail to report
back for the second term which started last week Wednesday.
destroyed include roads and bridges, with the government noting
it would require up to 600 million U.S. dollars to repair the
Infrastructure Principal Secretary, said 110 million dollars
will be used on repair of rural roads while 400 million dollars
will be used on fixing urban roads.
Kenya Red Cross puts
the number of deaths at least 112 and the society has appealed
for 5 million dollars in the short-term to support families
affected by floods.
In the capital
Nairobi, the worst affected are residents in the tens of slum
districts across the city, who have been displaced mainly due to
National Disaster Management Authority and Meteorological
Department on Monday warned of floods in several city estates in
the coming days due to expected heavy rains.
They include Langata,
Syokimau, South B and South C, areas populated by the
Department had predicted near-normal rainfall in most parts of
the country between the March-May long rain seasons.
However, the rains
have surpassed the intensity predicted by the weatherman,
pointing to their unpredictability.
Analysts have blamed
the current crisis to the effects of climate change, as the
weather alternates from one extreme to another.
“Kenya is battling
two extreme weather conditions in a span of four months. Before
the heavy rains, the country was gripped by dry weather that saw
people and animals in arid areas starve to death. Now the same
people who were starving are dying of floods. It is
unexplainable,” said Henry Wandera, an economics lecturer in
He attributed the
predicament to the effects of climate change, whose vagaries are
raging due to forest destruction, among other man-made causes.
“It is going to
mid-May when the rains are supposed to have subsided in
intensity but they are getting stronger to the worry of
citizens,” he said.
Besides floods and
dry conditions, pests and diseases are other effects of climate
change the country is grappling with.
Kenya is currently
battling Fall armyworms that have ravaged acres upon acres of
the maize crop for the second season threatening the staple.
But the worst it
seems it is yet to come for the East African nation as more
rains have been predicted.
“Heavy rainfall of
more than 50mm in 24 hours is expected offshore and in all
counties along the Coastal strip. On Wednesday, moderate
rainfall of more than 30mm in 24 hours is expected in the South
Coast region,” Peter Ambenje, acting Director of Kenya
Meteorological Department, said in a statement Monday.