Nairobi, Nov 29 (EFE).- The death toll in Kenya due to El Nino induced floods has risen to 120, with nearly 90,000 families forced to evacuate their homes since October.
“Unfortunately, 120 people have lost their lives (…) and over 89,000 households have been displaced and being hosted in 112 camps established in the affected counties,” deputy Interior Minister Raymond Omollo said in a statement late on Tuesday.
The flash floods, triggered by the El Nino meteorological phenomenon, have severely affected various parts of Kenya, with the eastern counties of Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, and Mandera experiencing the worst conditions.
Ten other counties are also on high alert due to anticipated rain and floods, according to the official.
Omollo said the floods have significantly affected “numerous road infrastructures,” particularly the Garissa-Wajir and Maralal-Baragoi roads, which remain impassable for traffic.
“Authorities advised Kenyans to avoid crossing flooded rivers and to gather flood alert information prior to traveling in areas prone to flooding,” the official said.
Monsoon rains and subsequent floods have led to rivers overflowing, landslides, loss of livestock, and destruction of crops, houses and infrastructure across the country.
“All major dams are being monitored but Kiambere (Hydro Power Station) has a meter remaining to overflow, we call on those downstream to move to higher ground even as government enhances power generation to mitigate the challenge,” Omollo said.
To cope with the crisis, the government in Nairobi has established a flood emergency response center to coordinate the efforts of the government and humanitarian organizations, while providing early warning and emergency response information, as well as flood preparedness guidance to the public and stakeholders.
The Kenyan Meteorological Department predicted heavy rains to persist until January.
El Nino is a meteorological phenomenon that warms the oceans and increases the likelihood of storms and droughts in certain regions.
The rainstorms in Kenya follow Africa’s most severe drought in four decades, which left neighboring Somalia on the verge of famine, facing 6.6 million people with acute food insecurity, according to the United Nations. EFE