29 people dead, 11 700 displaced as heavy rains trigger floods and landslides across Kenya

29 people dead, 11 700 displaced as heavy rains trigger floods and landslides across Kenya

29 fatalities have been reported due to flood and landslide-related incidents after heavy rains battered Kenya, Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna confirmed on Thursday, October 24, 2019. Six others were injured in floods that affected parts of the northeastern and coastal regions. 11 700 are said to be displaced.

In a press conference, Oguna reported that the floods have caused damage in infrastructure, but the cost is yet to be confirmed.

Major roads and bridges were ravaged in Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Turkana, Garissa, Lamu, Kwale, and Mombasa, making the areas impassible.

"Rescue operations have been moved to the affected areas and appealed to those living in flood-prone areas to move to higher grounds," he stated.

Overall, 25 counties both in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) and non-ASAL areas have been adversely impacted by the unusually heavy rains.

These counties were Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Turkana, Garissa, Lamu, Kwale, Isiolo, Samburu, Tana River, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Makueni, Kitui, Machakos, Busia, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Siaya, Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet and Trans-Nzoia.

Over 10 000 livestock was also lost in the intense weather.

On a positive note, Oguna said mechanisms to aid disaster mitigation have been started to ensure that this year's Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education goes uninterrupted.

The government also made sure that affected students partaking examinations will receive support. "The Government has put measures in place to ensure that all candidates in the affected areas sit for the exams." 

On Wednesday, October 23, the Kenya Meteorological Department has issued an alert regarding heavy rains expected to hit the country until Monday next week, October 28.

Furthermore, the agency warned that floodwaters may occur in places where heavy rainfall has not yet been experienced.

On October 24, it was reported that these heavy rains were influenced by strong, positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) expected to impact East Africa from October to December.

Featured image credit: @ghanamotion/Twitter

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