What you need to know:
- A total of 33 counties are affected by the ongoing rains, with over 80,000 households displaced or marooned in their homes by the heavy rains.
- Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha said 10,307 households have been affected in Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River and Taita-Taveta counties
- In the statistics of those affected released by Ms Onyancha, Mombasa was second with 3,892 households with Tana River leading with 5,136, Kwale (681), Kilifi (204), Lamu (305) and Taita-Taveta (89).
- In Wajir, County Commissioner Karuka Ngumo said several houses have been destroyed and more than 30,000 locals displaced.
At least 20 people have been reported dead and property worth millions of shillings lost following heavy rains and flooding, with the Coast, Northern and Central Kenya regions worst hit by the El Niño phenomenon.
This is as East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza warned Kenyans to brace themselves for even more downpours in the coming days.
Speaking in Vanga, Kwale County, while visiting families that had been affected by floods, Ms Malonza said the weatherman has indicated there would be potential floods in the coming days and Kenyans should be on high alert.
“The ministry is committed to ensuring that no Kenyan suffers or sleeps hungry due to the floods. Aside from foodstuff, we will also provide basic needs such as mattresses and blankets, soap, sanitary towels, sufurias and utensils to those in camps. People will also have to go back to their homes so we will also provide iron sheets,” said the CS.
She added that six constituencies in Mombasa County have been adversely affected by the floods.
The CS said the government has set aside Sh2.4 billion to assist Kenyans affected by the disaster.
The Ministry of Interior and National Coordination also said disaster response units, together with security teams have been activated and are identifying locations that are likely to be marooned in the flood-prone counties through aerial and ground missions.
According to a statement from the ministry, the Kenya Coast Guard, National Police Service, Kenya Defence Forces and the Kenya Wildlife Service are on high alert and ready for dispatch to rescue people in counties affected by flooding.
“Temporary shelters (tents) for the displaced persons in the evacuation centres, mostly schools and social halls, where available, will also be provided,” the statement stated.
A total of 33 counties are affected by the ongoing rains, with over 80,000 households displaced or marooned in their homes by the heavy rains.
“I have lost 15 goats and eight cows to the floods. I had to leave my home to save my life and my six grandchildren,” says Fathma Sawen, 81, from Bandi Village in Tana River County.
Ms Sawen says she is lucky to be alive alongside her grandchildren who also managed to rescue two goat kids from the raging waters on Sunday evening.
The widow who has been living with her grandchildren, who were orphaned more than five years ago, is among 600 families camping in Minjila Town after their houses were marooned by floods.
Tara and Ongonyo villages, on the other hand, have a total of more than 800 households who have sought refuge in Oda Village as water levels in the area continue to rise.
In Sogal village, more than 500 households are also moving to Oda, a long journey that will take them two days, as they have to wade through the flood waters.
“We will rest midway and continue with the journey tomorrow, the road is flooded and dangerous with snakes and scorpions,” said Abdulahi Hussein.
In Kwale County, the Nation team met Mariam Nyanje from Lungalunga. On Thursday night, water suddenly broke into their house at midnight as they slept, forcing them to seek refuge in a neighbour's house that is slightly on higher grounds.
“We were shocked,” said the 19-year-old mother of one.
For Saumu Marinda, she hopes that well-wishers may come to not only assist her with food, but also clothes and blankets for her family. She is currently living at a school camp with others, sleeping on mats spread on the classroom floors. They cook in the school’s kitchen and wash and air their clothes in the playground.
In Lamu, areas that have been affected by the floods include Lumshi A and B, Marafa, Kona Mbaya, Pangani, Chalaluma, Kitumbini, Moa and Pandanguo.
The Kenya Red Cross Society Coast Regional Coordinator Hassan Musa expressed fears of households affected by floods increasing as more villages continue to be pounded by rains.
In Mombasa, some houses are still submerged especially in Bamburi, Kiembeni and Utange. Governor Abdulswamad Nassir alongside Likoni MP Mishi Mboko have been visiting rescue centres and hospitals to assess the status of families displaced by the floods.
“Similarly, our engineering teams are traversing the county with pumps to drain flooded homes where possible. I urge residents to refrain from unnecessary risks such as riding in heavy rains or attempting to swim across water bodies during this period,” Mr Nassir said.
Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha said 10,307 households have been affected in Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River and Taita-Taveta counties
In the statistics of those affected released by Ms Onyancha, Mombasa was second with 3,892 households with Tana River leading with 5,136, Kwale (681), Kilifi (204), Lamu (305) and Taita-Taveta (89).
In Wajir, County Commissioner Karuka Ngumo said several houses have been destroyed and more than 30,000 locals displaced.
“We have recorded at least six deaths due to the flooding situation across the county. More than 1,000 domestic animals have also died,” Mr Ngumo said.
According to the county security committee boss, several security camps have been submerged.
“We have Buna, Khorof Harar, Eldas police stations, and others submerged as we continue recording heavy rainfall,” he said.
Kenya Red Cross Society has stepped in to supply food and non-food items to affected people.
“We have military helicopters assisting in the distribution of food aid procured by both the county government and the Kenya Red Cross,” he said.
In Mandera, residents of Fincharo Location in Mandera South have been forced to vacate their houses after the area was flooded. Those displaced by flooding in Elwak Town are camping at a local market.
In Garissa, those displaced after River Tana broke its banks are camping at Bulla Sheikh, Bulla Punda and at ADC area in Garissa town.
“The water levels keep going up. We don’t know when we shall go back to our homes,” Ms Halima Hussein, a resident, said. The county government has been distributing relief food to the affected locals.
In Isiolo, four people are reported to have died from flood-related accidents while more than 3,000 families have been displaced, Governor Abdi Ibrahim Guyo said.
Safi Estate residents have appealed for humanitarian aid while expressing fears that the flood waters could spark a disease outbreak due to poor hygiene and sanitation.
Ms Abdia Abdinoor, a butcher, lamented at the reduced number of customers visiting her premises due to stagnant waters.
“Shops have been marooned by floods. The waters have also swept away household items leaving those affected at the mercy of their neighbours,” a village elder, Ms Catherine Ndaiga, said.
In Tharaka-Nithi County, the heavy rainfall has left a trail of destruction, including landslides and destruction of roads. About 50 families from landslide-prone areas of Gitogoto in Chuka/Igambang’ombe Constituency have relocated to Gitogoto Primary School while others have moved to stay with relatives elsewhere.
In Maara Constituency, residents of Ngongu Village in Mitheru Ward are also worried about their safety after the ground started developing cracks. The floods have also rendered several roads impassable following the destruction of culverts and cutting off of sections of the roads.
In Tharaka Constituency, transportation along the main road linking Marimanti Town to the county headquarters in Kathwana Town has been paralysed by the flooded Gituma River.
The Marimanti-Kibunga-Mukuuni Road, which links Tharaka Constituency with Meru County through Central Imenti Constituency, is also in a deplorable state. Several feeder roads have been rendered impassable, leaving farmers unable to transport their agricultural produce to markets.
Thousands of open-air market traders in Murang’a County have nowhere to work after their selling spaces and display yards got submerged in water.
Acres of crops have been destroyed amid an increase in recorded cases of wet season livestock diseases.
The county Executive Committee Member for Water, Environment and Sanitation, Ms Mary Magochi, said the devolved unit has recruited youths to unblock drainage systems. She said the situation remains a health risk. She said various departments will team up to offer joint logistical support.
Murang’a Senator Joe Nyutu said despite positive results in food and fodder security, the rains have inconvenienced the bottom-up economic model where traders have been unable to operate freely without inhibitions.
In Kenol Town, most streets have been rendered impassable, hurting businesses.
“Kenol is the gateway to Mt Kenya region and it has been developing at a high rate. The rains have laid bare our poor planning,” Kenol Traders Welfare Union chair Joseph Mungai said.
Many towns in the nine sub-counties of Murang’a reported flooding of markets.
Reported By Stephen Oduor, Cece Siago, Winnie Atieno, Kalume Kazungu, Manase Otsialo, Mwangi Muiruri, Jacob Walter, Waweru Wairimu, Steve Otieno and Alex Njeru