from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – FLOODS have left at least 111 people dead across the Horn of Africa in recent weeks.
Among those dead are 16 children. More than 770 000 people have been displaced in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
Unrelenting rainfall across Kenya’s northern counties and the capital Nairobi has led to widespread flooding, displacing an estimated 36 000 people and killing 46 others since the beginning of the rainy season less than a month ago.
Two boys drowned in two separate incidents in Nairobi, where city rivers have broken their banks and flooded informal settlements.
Heavy rainfall in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands has left the central Somalia town of Beledweyne completely submerged, after the Shabelle river burst its banks forcing an estimated 250 000 people or 90 percent of the population out of their homes.
Across Somalia, eight children are amongst 32 people who are known to have died in the floods, with more than 456 000 displaced country-wide.
In the Gambella, Afar and Somali regions of Ethiopia, at least 33 people including eight children have died in the floods.
“Children are always the most vulnerable in crises like this,” Yvonne Arunga, Save the Children’s Country Director for Kenya, said.
The floods are the latest in a series of extreme weather events in recent years to hit the Horn of Africa. Children and communities are at the sharp end of the global climate crisis.
The El Nino weather phenomenon, which has brought unusually heavy rains, thunderstorms and extreme floods, comes after the worst drought in 40 years following five failed rainy seasons which has decimated livestock and crops, pushing the region to the brink of famine.
– CAJ News