Kenya floods claim lives of 174, US pledges $1 million in aid

Kenya floods. Representational image on Unsplash/Jonathan Ford

#Kenya, #KenyaFloods, #US

Nairobi/IBNS: The death toll from severe floods in Kenya, caused by unusually active rains linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon, has climbed to 174 over the past day after six more flood-related deaths were confirmed, Kenyan media reported.

The latest deaths were caused by a landslide in central Kiambu County and the flooding of a gold mine in southwestern Migori County, Kenyan radio station Capital FM reported.

The flooding has washed away or marooned many rural homes, displacing thousands of people, while farmland has been submerged and livestock drowned, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

The United States on Tuesday announced $1 million in humanitarian assistance to support Kenya’s flood response efforts, the US Embassy in Kenya stated in a press release.

The funding will be used to provide emergency shelter assistance, relief commodities, and hygiene kits to promote safe and healthy practices amid the ongoing floods.

Kenya is facing its worst floods in decades, with 500,000 people impacted, including over 100,000 families who have been displaced from their homes.

This follows one of the worst droughts in Kenya’s history, which left over 5 million people facing acute food insecurity and 1 million children facing acute malnutrition.

Some of the hardest-hit areas rely on herding for survival and are still recovering from the worst drought in 40 years.

The drought, rains, and extreme temperatures are expected to exacerbate the economic situation in the eastern African country, where heavy rainfall is expected to continue until January 2024.