No Relief, Kenyans Brace for Another Wet Week - Kenya Met Announces

Floods in Nairobi Kenya

The Kenya Meteorological Department (Kenya Met) has issued a severe weather warning for the next 24 hours, anticipating heavy rainfall exceeding 40mm across many parts of the country, including major urban centres such as Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu.

As per the latest forecasts, regions around Lake Victoria Basin, the Rift Valley, and the Highlands west and east of the Rift Valley are expected to experience intense showers beginning Sunday.

Coastal areas are particularly poised for the heaviest downpours, with rainfall potentially reaching up to 50mm.

Dr David Gikungu, Director General of Kenya Met, emphasized the widespread nature of the expected weather disturbances. According to Gikungu, more than 40 counties, including all major towns and the southeastern lowlands, will be affected.

Counties on high alert include Kisumu, Homabay, Siaya, Migori, Busia, Kisii, Nyamira, Nandi, Kericho, Bomet, and Kakamega. The alert also covers Vihiga, Bungoma, Narok, Baringo, Nakuru, Trans-Nzoia, Uasin-Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, and West-Pokot.

A collage of various flooded zones in Mwea, Kirinyaga County on Thursday, April 4, 2024.
A collage of various flooded zones in Mwea, Kirinyaga County on Thursday, April 4, 2024.

Further warnings have been issued for Nyandarua, Laikipia, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Muranga, Kiambu, Meru, Embu, Tharaka-Nithi, Nairobi, Machakos, Kitui, Makueni, Kajiado, Taita-Taveta, and the coastal counties of Mombasa, Tana-River, Kilifi, Lamu, Kwale, as well as the northeastern regions of Marsabit, Garissa, and Isiolo.

In addition to the heavy rains, the weather system is likely to bring gusty winds, large ocean waves, and strong southerly winds across the southeastern coast, posing risks of flooding and disruptions to transport and other daily activities.

The latest announcement arrives amidst ongoing floods that have already taken a toll across the nation, with the United Nations reporting 13 fatalities and the displacement of around 15,000 people. Forecasters caution that the rainy season could persist until June, suggesting further challenges ahead.

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which references data from the Kenya Red Cross Society, nearly 20,000 people have been impacted by the current severe weather. This figure includes those 15,000 who have been displaced since the onset of the rainy season in mid-March, due to heavy rainfall and sudden floods.

In Kisumu County, over 200 households have been forced to leave their homes due to the floods. The community of Ombaka in Nyando Sub County has seen significant losses, with valuable farmland and livestock swept away by the rising waters.

Budalangi Constituency in Busia County has seen more than 600 households displaced by the relentless rainfall and ensuing flash floods. Roads have become impassable, compounded by the overflow from Lake Victoria, which continues to swell. Many homes in the Lake region have been isolated, and local shops have had to shut down. Displaced families are either finding refuge with relatives or relocating to designated evacuation centres.

Authorities are advising those in vulnerable areas to brace for more adverse weather by securing movable objects, maintaining clear drainage paths, and staying updated via local media and community notices.

Emergency services, including disaster relief teams and medical facilities, are on heightened alert. They are preparing to handle incidents such as landslides, sudden floods, and obstructions on roads promptly.

Brenda Wambui's car submerged at the Nairobi West area on Thursday, May 13, 2021
  • .