NAIROBI: The devastating impact of widespread floods in Kenya has claimed the lives of 120 people, up sharply from an initial toll of 76, officials said late Tuesday.
“Currently, four counties (in eastern Kenya) including Tana River, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera have been identified as the worst hit while 120 people have unfortunately lost their lives,” Anadolu Agency reported Kenya’s Internal Security Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said Tuesday.
Omollo said more than 89,000 households have been displaced by the floods and are being hosted in 112 internally displaced camps scattered across the country.
The situation has escalated into an emergency with essential supplies such as food, medicines and fuel stuck as impassable roads and damaged infrastructure hinder transportation efforts.
Omollo emphasised that saving lives and minimising the impact of the El Nino rains through early warning and disaster monitoring remains the government’s top priority.
The ongoing rains have unleashed a cascade of challenges including flooding, landslides and mudslides, intensifying the plight of the affected communities.
Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are currently experiencing destructive El Nino rains which are exacerbating a humanitarian crisis.
The relentless downpours have led to loss of life, widespread displacement and the destruction of critical infrastructure in the three nations, according to Anadolu Agency.
El Nino, a climatic phenomenon characterized by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures, brings about significant shifts in rainfall patterns.
This in turn increases the likelihood of extreme weather events such as floods disrupting ecosystems worldwide. - Bernama, Anadolu Agency