Over 15,000 Displaced as Rains Ravage the Country, 13 Dead

Flooded section of a road within the Nairobi City.
Flooded section of a road within the Nairobi City.

Over the past 24 hours, more than 1,000 households have been displaced in Busia, Kirinyaga, and Homabay counties as torrential rains continue to devastate parts of the country.

Authorities reported that the unrelenting downpour has now claimed the lives of at least 13 people nationwide. The Kenya Red Cross Society is calling on residents of the areas to move to higher ground to avoid further loss of life.

The United Nations disclosed this week that the severe weather conditions have affected approximately 15,000 people since the onset of the rainy season in mid-March.  

Just this week, the Kenya Metrological Department, warned that the heavy downpour is expected to hit its peak towards the end of April and subside in June.

The Kenya Red Cross Society has actively responded, establishing camps in the worst-hit regions to aid those forced from their homes.

In Budalangi, within Busia County, the impact of the rains has been particularly harsh, with over 600 households displaced.

Local roads have been submerged, severely disrupting daily activities and causing substantial economic losses. Business owners in the area have reported losses amounting to as much as Ksh6 million per day due to the flooding, which is largely attributed to the backflow from Lake Victoria.

Moving to Kirinyaga County, the Ndia constituency is facing its own set of challenges.

In Ndia, the heavy rains over the last three days have impacted at least 400 households. The areas of Moya and Ndia are the hardest hit.

A screengrab of submerged houses in Homabay County, April 12.

Homabay County has not been spared either, with significant flooding in Karachaunya. Approximately 150 households have been affected after a nearby river burst its banks.

The displaced families have been relocated to Simbi dispensary, a makeshift shelter offering temporary refuge from the rising waters.

The situation remains dire as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on Thursday, April 11, that nearly 20,000 people across the country have been affected by the adverse weather.

This includes those displaced by the floods and others suffering the secondary effects of the heavy rains.

Following severe rainfall and subsequent flooding that inundated homes in Nairobi's informal settlements on March 25, the UN reported that at least 11 people perished and 9,000 were displaced in the country’s capital.

On April 8, tragedy struck again when two individuals, including a child, drowned at a rock catchment dam in Muranga County. Additionally, in Kitui County in the east of the country, another individual was reported missing following a river overflow.

In response to the escalating crisis, the disaster management agency has issued a flood warning for the counties of Lamu, Tana River, and Garissa, which are situated downstream of the Tana River. Residents in these areas have been urged to evacuate to higher ground as more rains are forecasted.

Reports from the meteorological department indicate that the country should brace for continued heavy rainfall over the next month. Nine out of the 47 counties in Kenya have already reported incidents of flooding, with mudslides also affecting central regions.

Shuttle ferrying 46 passengers plunges into a nearby river at the Kibwezi area of Makueni
Shuttle ferrying 46 passengers plunges into a nearby river at the Kibwezi area of Makueni
Semeon Mwendwa