Floods kill 29, displace thousands in Kenya

NAIROBI(Xinhua) – At least 29 people have been killed and more than 100,000 others affected since October as raging floods caused havoc in many parts of Kenya, an United Nations (UN) agency said yesterday.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the heavy rains which started in early October have also displaced thousands of people and threatened to unleash a wave of communicable diseases like cholera, typhoid and malaria.

Citing figures from the Kenya Red Cross Society, the UN humanitarian agency said the rains have driven flash floods, mudslides and landslides in various counties, with Wajir county in northeast Kenya amongst the hardest-hit.

“At least 29 flood-related deaths have been reported and the death toll and number of people displaced is expected to rise in the days ahead as further information is received and verified from affected areas,” OCHA said in its latest update on floods in Kenya.

It said the floods have damaged infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and access to food, education and healthcare has been hampered.

The heavy rains follow a period of prolonged drought which saw the number of severely food insecure people in Kenya rise to 3.1 million.

A Turkana woman stops at a gate of her house that is submerged by flooded water in Lodwar, Kenya. PHOTO: AFP