Nairobi, Nov 29 (EFE).- The death toll in Kenya due to El Nino induced rains and floods has risen to 136, with over 460,000 people forced to evacuate their homes since October.
“Unfortunately, in the last 24 hours, 16 deaths have been reported, raising the death toll to 136,” deputy Interior Minister Raymond Omollo said in a statement late on Thursday.
Persistent rainstorms and flash floods, triggered by the El Nino meteorological phenomenon, have displaced 92,432 families from their homes.
They are currently housed in 112 temporary camps established in the affected regions, Omollo said.
Authorities continue to deliver “assorted food items” to the people in the most affected regions, with airdrops conducted in areas inaccessible by roads.
Since October, the rainstorms have significantly affected various parts of Kenya, with the eastern counties of Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, and Mandera experiencing the worst conditions, according to the official.
At least 10 other counties remain on high alert due to anticipated rains and flash floods.
“A decrease in rainfall is anticipated in the northern half of the country this week even as the government continues with its flood mitigation efforts in the worst hit counties and those on high alert,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
Authorities urged people to adhere to weather and flood alerts and take precautions not to risk injury or death by driving in flooded roads and crossing swollen rivers.
Monsoon rains and subsequent floods have caused rivers to overflow, triggered landslides, and resulted in the loss of livestock, destruction of crops, houses, and infrastructure across the country.
To address the crisis, the government has established a flood emergency response center to coordinate the relief efforts of the government and humanitarian actors, 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