Floods leave hundreds of thousands homeless in Kenya
72 killed, 33 injured across Kenya since March as result of floods, UN says
By Andrew Wasike and Magdalene Mukami
Hundreds of thousands of people across Kenya, especially those settled close to Tana River in the northern part, were displaced by heavy floods in the country.
According to Red Cross officials, the elderly, women and children are the most affected as their flimsy houses are either swept away or left waist-deep in water.
Joshua Chepchieng, the commissioner of northern Kenya’s Garissa county, told Anadolu Agency that the government is making efforts to prevent casualties.
Thousands, mostly farmers, are seeking shelter in camps erected across northern Kenya, the Red Cross said and added that food and clean water is “scarce” and access to toilets is “limited”.
In an update, the Red Cross termed the situation as a “ticking timebomb” as thousands of people are at risk of waterborne diseases.
Hassan Mohammed, a teacher in Garissa town, told Anadolu Agency: "I live in the town but my farm is near the river, I have lost hectares of mature maize to the floods, some of my goats were also swept away."
According to a recent flood update by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the floods have displaced more than 211,000 people and reportedly killed 72 people and injured 33 across Kenya since March 2018.
OCHA said the floods have disrupted livelihoods, with at least 8,450 acres of farmland submerged in water and more than 6,000 livestock killed.
The floods have destroyed houses and damaged infrastructure, such as roads and health facilities, it added.
Later in the day, a team comprising of the Garissa member then Kenyan parliament and leader of the majority Aden Duale, who along with government and Red Cross officials went to deliver humanitarian assistance to thousands of Garissa residents on Friday, vowed to sue Kenya's leading electric power generation company, which he considers as responsible for the flooding.
In a statement, Aden Duale said: "The flooding is as a result of Kengen hydro [electric] dams releasing excess water downstream causing death and destruction to farms and properties including schools. We shall take legal action against Kengen and sue it over 5 billion [roughly $50 million] for damages."Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.