Deadly floods and storms sweep across Kenya and Ethiopia, leaving at least 19 people dead
At least 19 people have died, and hundreds have been displaced in Kenya and Ethiopia due to storms, heavy rain, and flooding affecting various parts of the region over the last week. The situation has been exacerbated by the ongoing drought in the region, which has put millions of lives at risk.
At least 12 people died in Kenya, of which seven were in Gilgil Town, Nauru County, 3 others in West Pokot County, 1 in the capital Nairobi, and another in Suswa Town, Narok County. In addition, thousands of people have been displaced (including 812 households in Marsabit County, northern Kenya), and several houses damaged.
On March 23, heavy rain caused damage and flooding in Nairobi and surrounding areas, leading to one death, the destruction of hundreds of homes, and the displacement of families. The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) reported that parts of the Nairobi – Mai Mahiu – Narok Highway were blocked or flooded.
Flash flooding in Gilgil, Nakuru County, on March 27, caused further devastation, with the Nakuru County Government reporting seven fatalities, five injured individuals, and significant property damage. Dozens of residents have moved to higher ground to escape the flooding. On the same day, stormy weather, strong winds, and heavy rain caused damage in Narok County, resulting in one death due to flash floods in Suswa.
In Kajiado County, at least 70 families were displaced after floods destroyed homes in Ilbisil, approximately 90 km (55 miles) south of Nairobi. Flash floods in Garissa County damaged major roads, including the Garissa-Modogashe road, and caused extensive damage to homes. Flooding was also reported in Tana River County and West Pokot County, where two people died in flash floods and another in a lightning strike.
In Kisumu County, local authorities have established evacuation centers in Nyando to accommodate around 200 people affected by flooding. In northern Kenya, around 812 households have been displaced in Walda, Marsabit County, due to rivers breaking their banks. Thousands of livestock are believed to have perished in the floods.
Deadly floods also hit Ethiopia over the past couple of days, claiming the lives of at least 7 people. According to local media, 4 500 households were affected in Dhawa Zone, an area heavily affected by drought.
The region’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands region is grappling with severe drought conditions, which have put food security and millions of lives at risk. In February 2023, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called for urgent assistance as the Horn of Africa entered its sixth consecutive rainy season without rain.
Moderate to heavy rainfall is forecast over north-western Kenya and south-western, central and north-eastern Ethiopia over the next 24 hours.
1 Kenya – Fatalities and Evacuations After Floods in Several Regions – FloodList – March 29, 2023
2 Ethiopia, Kenya – Floods – DG-ECHO – March 30, 2023
Featured image credit: Kenya Red Cross Society
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Your support makes a difference
Dear valued reader,
We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.
The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.
If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.
Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.
Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Commenting rules and guidelines
We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:
We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.