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74 people killed, 99,000 others displaced by flash floods in Kenya

NAIROBI, May 3 (Xinhua) — At least 74 people have been killed, 19 injured and 99,043 displaced by flash floods due to heavy rains pounding several parts of Kenya, a humanitarian agency said on Friday.

The Kenya Red Cross Society said 40 people have been killed so far in Rift Valley, 21 in Eastern Kenya, and seven in coastal regions. The agency said the flash floods have claimed four lives in Western and two in central Kenya

“There is possibility of landslide to occur in Nandi (Rift Valley) as the ground can be seen to have cracks,” the KRCS said, noting that it was monitoring the situation and advising residents to move to safer ground.

The flash floods have caused widespread destruction of property and infrastructure has also resulted, as well as disruption of key activities such as farming and education.

Several parts of the country especially the Coast and Western Kenya regions have been affected by flooding following an increased heavy downpour countrywide.

The latest statistics after the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has appealed to the international community for over 3.78 million U.S. dollars to support KRCS to scale up assistance for landslides and flood- affected communities.

KRCS Secretary General Dr Abbas Gullet said last week that the emergency appeal will enable the humanitarian agency to deliver assistance to more than 52,000 people affected by severe flooding and landslides across the East African nation.

“The main priority of the Red Cross is to continue emergency search and rescue efforts as many communities have been isolated by the floods without shelter, food or safe drinking water,” Gullet in a statement received on April 25.

The appeal will fund the provision of food and other relief items, emergency healthcare focusing on disease prevention and hygiene promotion, safe water and access to improved sanitation, as well as cash and livelihoods support.

Volunteers and staff from the National Society were immediately deployed to affected areas, assisting search and rescue efforts, evacuating villages, conducting assessments and distributing relief items.

The relief agency said areas that are near major rivers have been put on high alert and advised to move to higher ground as the water level can be seen to be rising while some have already burst their banks leaving a trail of destructions and displacing many families.

The most affected regions by heavy rains are in Western Kenya, Coastal region and parts of Rift Valley where heavy rains have washed away bridges and rendered many roads impassable, making difficult efforts to reach thousands of people made homeless by the flooding.