Kenya: Heavy Floods Cause 48 Deaths - Food Security Under Threat

Berlin / Nairobi, 11. November 2019

After a long period of drought, heavy rainfall began in large parts of Kenya in early October, aggravated by the El Niño climate phenomenon. This resulted in severe flooding, landslides and mudslides. 100,000 people are currently affected, and at least 48 people have died. German relief organisations coordinate humanitarian aid for those affected.

"The dried out soil cannot absorb the water masses, which is why floods arise, tearing away dwellings, livestock and the few yields in the fields," says Philippe Carette, Country Director of Johanniter in Kenya. Further heavy rainfall is feared. 3.1 million people in Kenya are already suffering from severe food shortages. Carette warns: "According to Kenyan and international experts, November could be the worst month for East Africa in years." One reason for this is the current enormous difference in water temperatures between the western and eastern Indian oceans of up to 2 degrees Celsius. More water evaporates and heavy rain fronts can appear.

Hundreds of thousands of people in northern Kenya had already been weakened by a long drought and depended on food relief. In order to determine the specific needs, Johanniter, Malteser International, and other German aid organisations had already conducted an assessment in northern Kenya this summer. The findings in the report: Access to sufficient food had deteriorated considerably for the people due to the poor rainy seasons this and the previous year. In the last few months, many could hardly afford more than one meal a day. The current rainfall is aggravating the situation and the stagnant water also poses the risk of diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera or hepatitis.

In the Turkana province, Johanniter distributes food such as corn, beans, oil, and salt to the population in order to improve the nutritional situation for the local people. In the north-eastern region of Mandera, Johanniter together with the local partner organisation RACIDA are preparing further aid measures. Due to the floods, shepherds have lost their livestock, which is an important source of income for many families. The affected residents receive two vouchers of 4000 KES (35 Euros) each to buy food like maize, rice, beans and oil in previously selected local shops. 550 households are reached to cater fort the increase in food prices for the next two months.

Johanniter is dependent on donations for its projects in Kenya.

Bündnispartner der Johanniter: Aktion Deutschland hilft, Gemeinsam für Afrika, VENRO und DZI

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