Kenya begins evacuation amid escalating floods


Kenya floods. File photo

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Bureau
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – EVACUATION is underway in the flood-prone areas across Kenya as disruptions due to deadly flooding continue.

A dilemma is that many roads have been inundated due to floodwaters, which is feared to slow the exercise. The damaged roads have culminated in hazardous driving conditions.

President William Ruto’s government has ordered the evacuation across many parts of the country as the heavy rains since March amid flooding and landslides affected at least 34 out of Kenya’s 47 counties.

As of May 1, authorities have reported at least 179 flood-related fatalities, including 48 people who were killed by flash flooding near Mai Mahiu in Nakuru County on Monday.

At least 125 others have been injured, and 90 people are missing.

The flooding has displaced over 195 000 people and Ruto announced plans to evacuate all people in flood- and mudslide-prone areas on Tuesday.

More than 27 700 acres of farmland have been destroyed and 5 000 livestock killed.

Authorities are requesting people evacuate these areas in 48 hours starting from Wednesday.

Relief camps are being set up for those being evacuated.

Further heavy rainfall is forecast to continue over much of the country through at least May 6 raising fears of further floods and mudslides.

Hilly or mountainous areas are most prone.

There are fears some communities could snub the call to evacuate but a security thinktank forecast the government could react swiftly.

“Authorities could issue mandatory evacuation orders for flood-prone communities over the coming days,” it stated.

Islamic Relief has noted extreme distress among people that have lost loved ones, homes, possessions and livelihoods.

“This a tragedy for communities across the country and the situation is set to get even worse with rain still falling all day and night,” its Kenya director, Hassan Abdille, said.

– CAJ News

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