KDF, Police Officers on Standby in 27 Counties as El Nino Crisis Intensifies

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki with police bosses
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki with police bosses.
Interior Ministry

The Interior Ministry on Monday assured that Kenya Defence Forces and their counterparts from the National Police Service (NPS) were on standby in areas worst hit by the ongoing heavy rains.

In a statement, the Ministry headed by Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki revealed that the officers will be alerted to rescue people in the flood-affected counties whenever the need arises.

The rescue teams will also aid in the distribution of food and non-food items to the affected communities and those in evacuation centres in flood-hit counties.

The earmarked counties include those that lie in the Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley as well as Central and South Rift Valley regions.

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki speaking in Meru North on November 6, 2023.
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki speaking in Meru North on November 6, 2023.
Kithure Kindiki

In North Western, counties that are at risk of flooding include Turkana and Samburu. 

Highlands East of the Rift Valley where the soldiers are on high alert are Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang'a, Kiambu, Laikipia East, Meru, Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Nairobi.

The South-Eastern Lowlands counties of Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Taita Taveta, and Kajiado as well as the North-Eastern counties of Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa and Isiolo will receive police help.

Coastal counties of Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale will also be included in the programme.

"Disaster response and security teams have been activated and in the short term are identifying locations that are likely to be marooned in respective flood-prone counties through aerial and ground reconnaissance," read the statement in part.

The Ministry further revealed that it will avail tents for displaced persons to provide temporary shelter while the state of the road network in the affected areas was also on its radar.

Since the onset of the El Nino rains, several communities have been rendered homeless with estimates indicating that over 130 people have lost their lives in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Kenya Meteorological Department, on the other hand, estimates that the effects of the phenomenon will be experienced until April 2024.

In the next week, the rains are likely to increase in Nairobi, Kitui and other highland areas.

Floods along Thika Road after a downpour
Floods along Thika Road after a downpour