Death and destruction as floods wreak havoc

KRA car

A Land Cruiser, in which the two missing employees of KRA were travelling in, is recovered from the Ramisi River along the Likoni-Lungalunga highway in Kwale County. Their bodies are still missing.  

Photo credit: Siago Cece | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Bamburi, Utange and Kisauni residents are counting losses after houses were submerged.
  • In Kisumu, at least 150 families have vacate their homes following the downpour in the last two weeks.

At least 10 people have died in Kwale following the heavy rains pounding the county. They include two Kenya Revenue Authority officers who died while crossing the River Ramisi. Their car has been retrieved but the bodies are still missing. 

Two other people were swept away by water in Tiwi. One body has been found. Another person died in Vanga and another in Kinango. Another was electrocuted in Msambweni while pruning a tree in the rain.

Bamburi, Utange and Kisauni residents are counting losses after houses were submerged.

Coast Region Regional Commissioner, Rhoda Onyancha, said 10,307 families in Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River and Taita-Taveta are affected.

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir said he has not received El Nino funds from the government. 


Motorists on a flooded section of the Majaoni-Utange road in Mombasa. The coastal city has been experiencing downpours for days. 

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group 

In the data released by Ms Onyancha, Mombasa is second most affected county, with 3,892 households. It is followed by Tana River (5136), Kwale (681), Kilifi (204), Lamu (305) and Taita-Taveta with 89. 

“We have received zero funding. Everything we are doing, is from our coffers and partners,” Mr Nassir said.

He added that said Sh30 million has been set aside for disaster management. The governor said his administration would offer therapy, feed and house victims. 

“The rains are very heavy. We last experienced such in 1997,” Mr Nassir said. 

Kenya Red Cross Society, Unicef, the Bohra Community and other donated 10 pumps, tanks, drugs and food. 


A driver wades to safety after his truck stalled along Majaoni-Utange-Bamburi road on November 17, 2023. 

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group 

Ms Onyancha said the government would work with county governments and other agencies to support the affected households.

“The county commissioner will work together with the devolved government in assessing the situation and see how we can reach out to everyone,” she said.

“If we are to do a report on the flooding, it should be one. We do not want every agency to be giving its report.”

Arid and Semi-Arid Lands PS, Kelo Harsama, said that the government has sent food to aid displaced families.

“We have dispatched 560 bags of rice, 560 bags of beans, 200 cartons of conned beef, 500 pieces of blankets, jikos and iron sheets,” Mr Harsama said.

KRA Land Cruiser that was swept away by floods in Kwale retrieved

In Kwale, search mission has begun for two KRA officials. The agency said the officers were travelling to Mombasa from Lungalunga. 

“The Authority has engaged family members of the two officers and an intensive search operation by a multi-agency team launched,” KRA Acting Regional Coordinator Lawrence Siele said. 

Witnesses said the occupants failed to heed warning that the road ahead was impassable. Several other vehicles, buses and trucks stopped near Ramisi bridge. 

KRA has said it would keep updating relatives of the missing officers on the search.

“KRA will continuously update the family members, its staff and the public on the progress. The safety and well-being of KRA employees remains the Authority’s first priority. All machinery is being deployed,” Mr Siele said.

County Commissioner Mike Meru said a meeting had been organised with local leaders on how to contain the effects of the floods.

“The security team, Red Cross and other agencies will be meeting the governor today,” he said. 

In Kisumu, at least 150 families have vacate their homes following the downpour experienced in the last two weeks.

The residents of Kakola Ombaka sub location in Nyando Sub-County were fled more than a week ago after the rains left their houses submerged.

Among the affected are students sitting their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination.

River Nyando bursting its banks around, flooding homesteads.

“The water found its way to the villages,” said Arnold Ochieng, one of the residents.

As at Friday evening, more than 150 households had been rendered homeless. Property of an unknown value has been destroyed.

More than 650 domestic birds were swept away while 380 acres of farm lands has been destroyed.

Kakola Ombaka Assistant Chief, Neto Awich, said some families sought refuge at Nyamasao Primary school.


A flooded section of the Majaoni-Utange-Bamburi road, Mombasa. 

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group 

Mr Neto said that residents also want to seek shelter at Ombaka Secondary School but were barred due to the ongoing national exams.

“A total of 51 families are camping at Nyamasao Primary School,” Mr Neto said, adding that among those camping are students sitting their national exams at Kanyagwal Secondary school.

The families say they have not received support from the county or humanitarian organisations.

Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali has launched an appeal to help flood victims.

Mr Ali said the floods reported have submerged villages and destroyed bridges and key roads.

The four sub-counties are affected with roads leading to Duakana, North Horr, Illeret, Ilaut, Ngurnit, Dabel and Shurr Badan Rero destroyed.

He said at least 40,000 residents are in need of food.

Governor Ali explained that the devolved unit is doing everything possible to help the families.

Pastoralist Communities Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA) Director Patrick Katelo added that most areas have become inaccessible.

A 70-year-old man and a three-year-old boy died, while120 have been displaced. Some 150 cattle have been swept away.

Log logo Chief, Andrew Korole said the elderly man died when his house collapsed.

The body was taken by the family members for burial.

The chief added that the affected households would be moved to a safe ground.

He also expressed fear of a possible disruption of the national examinations.

He appealed to the government and other humanitarian agencies to join hands in assisting the affected families with bedding, relief and any other essential needs.

The chief asked residents not to endanger their lives by walking in flooded places

Reports by Jurgen Nambera, Winnie Atieno, Cece Siago, Angeline Ochieng and Jacob Walter