In Kenya, the number of fatalities caused by weeks of nonstop rain and the following floods has almost doubled.
At least 120 people have died, according to Interior Minister Raymond Omollo’s announcement on Tuesday. Nearly 90,000 households have also been forced to flee and seek safety in 120 temporary camps.
El Nino weather phenomena is to blame for the country’s constant rain and flash floods, which exacerbate the problems faced by an area already suffering from a severe drought.
According to Kenya’s weather predicting office, these torrential downpours are probably going to last until January 2024.
William Ruto, the president of Kenya, has acknowledged the extensive damage to people’s lives, property, and infrastructure and promised financial help for the affected communities.
El Nino-induced precipitation has had unfavorable effects on Kenya and eastern Africa, including illness outbreaks and protracted power outages, according to a statement from Ruto’s office.
Large tracts of farmland are underwater, and hundreds of homes have been washed away or left isolated, according to relief organizations on the scene. Floods have claimed tens of thousands of cattle lives. Four counties in eastern Kenya—Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, and Mandera—are especially worst off.
Omollo cautioned that the Kiambere Hydroelectric Power Station in the Tana River is perilously near to spilling and that key dams are closely monitored. While the government works to improve power generation to minimize the issue, he urged citizens downstream to relocate to higher ground.
Meanwhile, the heavy rains brought on by El Nino have also caused flash floods in Ethiopia and Somalia, two neighboring nations.
The Kenyan government reports that 700,000 people have been displaced and 96 lives have been lost in Somalia.
The Horn of Africa is still especially susceptible to catastrophic weather occurrences and climate change brought on by global warming.
Speaking to the European Parliament prior to the UN’s COP28 climate meeting in Dubai, Ruto underlined how vulnerable Africa is to environmental threats and stressed the pressing need for international cooperation.