Floods in Kenya: bishops launch new call for solidarity

Since March, Kenya has been hit by floods which have claimed the lives of at least 289 people, according to the official report presented by the Nairobi authorities on May 14. The bishops are launching a new appeal for solidarity to help those affected by these floods, the toll of which continues to increase.

Vatican News with Fides

The East African country of Kenya could suffer rain and flooding from Cyclone Hidaya, which hit neighboring Tanzania on May 4. This disaster caused the displacement of nearly 293,000 Kenyans and destroyed crops on nearly 10,000 hectares. On May 2, the government urged the population to remain alert. According to a statement from the office of Kenyan President William Ruto, “the coastal region [était] likely to face Cyclone Hidaya, which will bring heavy rainfall, large waves and strong winds that may affect maritime activities in the Indian Ocean“.

Taking appropriate measures

Since the start of the floods, Kenyan bishops have been active. In their May 7 statement signed by Mgr Maurice Muhatia Makumba, archbishop of Kisumu and president of the Kenya Catholic Bishops’ Conference (KCCB), the bishops asked the government to help as quickly as possible the populations who “are struggling to cope with the immediate consequences of this disaster» at the moment when «rains continue to fall, exacerbating the already dire situation“. The bishops urge people to take concrete actions to save lives, using the means appropriate to confronting such a situation. “Now is the time to effectively use resources allocated to such crises», declared the prelates.We call for rapid action to save lives, protect properties and, in areas where the rains have subsided, begin necessary reconstruction and rehabilitation work.“, launched the pastors.

Caution and responsibility

The Kenyan prelates also urged the population to exercise caution and responsibility. “Adults must take the initiative to keep our children safe, especially in flood-prone areas», they pleaded, adding that “people should not take unnecessary risks“. The prelates urged, among other things, the communities to vigilance and proactive actions to “protect every member, especially the most vulnerable“.

On April 28, the KCCB had requested to collect basic necessities to help those affected by the floods. Assuring that “the response was good“, they reiterated the call to “more support to help those who desperately need it“. “Pray for all those suffering from the effects of this natural disaster», invited Mgr Makumba in his declaration of April 28.

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