Nairobi — The ongoing rains have claimed lives and displaced more than 50,000 people in various parts of the country.
The latest four deaths were reported in Kitui while others died in various parts of northern Kenya which is worst affected by the floods.
The rains which, locals say, is worse than El Nino have washed away homes and rendered roads impassable leaving thousands homeless.
In Northern Kenya, where communities have long displayed resilience in the face of water scarcity and hunger during droughts, residents now grapple with the challenges posed by rising floodwaters.
This crisis serves as a stark reminder of the current volatile state of our climate and the pressing need for adaptive and sustainable solutions.
One of the hardest-hit areas is Elwak in Mandera, where homes lie submerged, and lives are disrupted.
The Kenya Red Cross says it has mobilized its teams on the ground in response to this unfolding humanitarian crisis. They are tirelessly working to meet the immediate needs of the affected population, including the provision of shelter, essential non-food items, and vital water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
Heart-wrenching images shared by the Kenya Red Cross on social media depict the dire circumstances faced by elderly women and children as they struggle to navigate through flooded roads in search of safer ground. Some residents are observed literally carrying their beloved animals, including goats and dogs, as they seek refuge from the rising waters.
Despite the government’s earlier downgrading of the El Niño warning, the unrelenting rains have intensified, plunging Northern Kenya into a crisis surpassing the challenges experienced during the 1997 El Niño event.
Senator Ali Roba, leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Party, has urgently called upon the government to scale up its disaster response efforts in Northern Kenya. Senator Roba voiced concerns that the government had underestimated the magnitude of the rains, particularly after President William Ruto’s announcement ruling out El Niño.
He emphasized that the impact of heavy rains in the Northern region now surpasses that of the 1997 El Niño, leading to tragic consequences, including loss of lives, extensive property damage, and significant livestock losses.
The relentless rains have wreaked havoc on crucial infrastructure, with some roads cut off for days, effectively paralyzing transportation to and from the region. Governor Ali Maalim of Mandera echoed Senator Roba’s concerns, highlighting the dire situation in the county.
Major roads in this border county have been rendered impassable, leading him to call for the declaration of a flood emergency in the country. The destruction of critical bridges and road infrastructure has significantly disrupted transportation, and every bridge and weak link in Mandera County has been swept away.
Without immediate and concerted efforts, the lives and livelihoods of Northern Kenya’s residents remain at grave risk. The loss of lives, extensive damage to property, and disruptions in infrastructure underscore the urgency of the situation. A coordinated and rapid response is imperative to address this ongoing flood crisis.
As the situation continues to evolve, Kenya’s leaders must confront the devastating reality and work together to provide aid and relief to those affected.
The resilience of the affected communities, along with the support of organizations like the Kenya Red Cross, will be crucial in overcoming this disaster and building a more resilient future in the face of our changing climate.