Kenya: Heavy floods after long drought so far claimed 48 lives

Berlin / Nairobi, 10 November 2019

After months of drought, heavy rainfall began in large parts of Kenya in early October due to 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 humanitarian organisations are coordinating relief efforts for those affected.

The dried-out soil cannot absorb the water masses, which is why floods form, tearing away dwellings, livestock and the few crops in the fields.
Philippe Carette,Country office manager 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." The reason is the current enormous differences in water temperature in the western and eastern Indian Ocean of up to 2 degrees Celsius. More water evaporates and heavy rain fronts can form.

Hundreds of thousands of people in northern Kenya have already been weakened by a long period of drought and are dependent on food aid. In order to find out the concrete needs, we had already carried out a survey of the situation in Northern Kenya in summer together with Malteser International and other German humanitarian organisations. The result: The access to sufficient food had clearly deteriorated due to the missing rainy seasons this year and last year. Many could hardly afford more than one meal a day in the last few months. The current rain significantly worsens the situation, and the stagnant water also poses the risk of diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera or hepatitis.

In order to improve the nutritional situation for the local people, we distribute food such as corn, beans, oil and salt to the population in the Turkana province. In the north-eastern region of Mandera, we are preparing further relief measures together with the organisation RACIDA. Shepherds, among others, have lost their livestock, which is the source of income for many families, due to the floods. The affected families will receive two vouchers worth 4000 KES (around 35 Euro) each to buy food such as corn, rice, beans and cooking oil in previously selected local shops. The vouchers will reach 550 households to mitigate the negative impact of the rise in food prices and to stabilise their supply situation for the next two months.

Female Turkana Nomad

International Assistance in Kenya

In Kenya, we support nomadic communities in adapting to climate change and help people affected by natural disasters to secure their basic needs.

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