Thousands of Flood-Affected Still Need Aid in Kenya

Published on Wednesday 27th January 2010

Thousands of flood-affected households still require assistance as ongoing rains in parts of Kenya continue to cause population displacement and destroy property and crops, according to humanitarian sources.

"Countrywide, 8,270hh [households or 40,165 persons], have been displaced and 40 people killed by floods. Livelihoods have been greatly interrupted and thousands are in dire need of relief aid," according to a recent update by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS).

The National Disaster Operations Centre (NDOC) estimates that up to 58,000 people had been affected by the flooding in the October-December 2009 short rains, stated a 22 December 2009 to 22 January Kenya Humanitarian Update by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The latest to be displaced by the flooding, due to ongoing El Niño-related rains, include 53 families in the village of Dagamra in the coastal district of Magharini where 404ha of green maize were also destroyed.

According to the KRCS public relations manager, Titus Mung'ou, the flooding occurred just as "the farmers were ready to receive their harvest. Some [of the farmers] are [wading] through the water to pick [what] maize they can," said Mung'ou.

The flooding was caused by the River Sabaki breaking its banks on 13 January and going about 500m off its normal course, he said, adding that non-food items such as tarpaulins and mosquito nets had been provided to the affected families.

Heavy rainfall on 11 January in Tanzania caused flash floods in nine of Kenya's Taveta District's sub-locations, affecting 556 households whose houses were submerged and property damaged, according to OCHA.

Taveta lies along the border with Tanzania, where recent flooding has also affected thousands.

Mung'ou warned that thousands of people could be displaced along the Tana River delta, from the Northeastern Provincial capital of Garissa down to the coast, if rains continue.



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