Floods in Kenya: at least 181 dead, risk areas evacuated

Floods in Kenya: at least 181 dead, risk areas evacuated
Floods in Kenya: at least 181 dead, risk areas evacuated

At least 181 people have been killed in devastating floods caused by heavy rains in Kenya, the government said on Wednesday.

Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura said 90 people were missing across the country and 124 people were injured and were receiving treatment at various health facilities.

Heavy rains and floods have displaced 188,000 people, prompting the government to establish an IDP camp to provide alternative housing, it said in a statement issued in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. .

The government has put in place measures to support the evacuation and temporary accommodation of affected people, with public spaces identified for temporary accommodation and provision of essential supplies.

The cabinet also revealed that water levels at Masinga and Kiambere dams have reached historic levels. Masinga Dam recorded the highest levels in its history, surpassing those recorded on May 7, 2020. Similarly, Kiambere Dam recorded its highest levels on April 26, surpassing previous historic levels recorded on November 29 1997.

A dam burst overnight from Sunday to Monday in the town of Mai Mahiu, about 60 kilometers north of Nairobi, killed 48 people and affected many others. Meanwhile, downstream consequences, particularly in eastern Kenya’s Garissa and Tana River counties, could worsen the already dire situation, the cabinet said.

Large tracts of land along the Tana River, Kenya’s longest, are currently submerged, displacing thousands of people and impacting lives and livelihoods.

Residents of the two affected counties and those living near other dams and water reservoirs should be evacuated as directed by authorities.

Rescuers fear the death toll will rise as heavy rains are expected to continue this week, and flooding and landslides are forecast in some areas. Roads and bridges were washed away, rendering many parts of the country inaccessible and disrupting commercial activities. The government’s multi-agency National Emergency Response Committee is working on various initiatives to help those affected by the floods.

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