Interior Ministry confirms over 200 fatalities, mass displacements as rains wreak havoc nationwide

A section of Dariqa residents attempting to cross a flooded village section. [Standard, File]

At least 228 people have so far lost their lives in the devastating floods that have swept across the country.

This is according to the Ministry of Interior in a statement on Sunday, May 5, indicating the raging floods have also left 164 injured and 72 missing, with nearly 213,000 people affected.

The ministry said some 1,967 schools have been affected and 42,526 households displaced.

 “Approximately 227,238 people have been impacted by the heavy rains,” the statement read.

 In response, the government has set up 138 camps across 18 counties, currently hosting 62,061 people.

The weather forecast predicts moderate to heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in 37 counties, including regions in the Coast, Western, Lake Victoria Basin, Central, Eastern, Rift Valley and Nairobi.

Flooding is expected in low-lying areas, riparian areas, and urban areas, while landslides and mudslides may occur in areas with steep slopes, escarpments, and ravines.

Despite most parts of the North West, North Eastern, and South Eastern regions being forecasted to be generally dry, the continuous heavy rains in the Central region and the overflow of the Seven Forks Dams pose a risk of exacerbating flooding in the Tana Delta, impacting Garissa, Tana River, and Lamu counties.

Interior Ministry also said the Tropical Cyclone Hidaya storm that had been projected to hit some parts of the Coast region has weakened, saying heavy rainfall is still expected offshore along the Coast region, with strong winds and large waves already experienced in Kwale.

The forecast for favourable weather in the North Eastern and South Eastern regions sets the stage for post-flood recovery initiatives.

 These include public works, the reconstruction of schools, repairs to water treatment systems, road repairs, and improvements to the accessibility of social and economic facilities.

In preparation for further potential disasters, the government has conducted a nationwide assessment of all dams, identifying 192 as high risk.

A 24-hour evacuation notice was issued on May 2, 2024, to settlements in 33 counties that are within 178 of these high-risk dams and water reservoirs.

The government is facilitating logistical support, temporary shelter, and essential supplies to those affected.

“All persons residing within the 30-metre riparian corridor of rivers and other water courses across the country have been ordered to vacate immediately for their safety,” the statement read.