Accessibility links

Kenya Floods - 2002-05-14

In Kenya, the Red Cross says heavy rains since last Friday have triggered floods and landslides that have killed at least 30 people and displaced tens of thousands. The Red Cross is asking for funds to provide shelter materials and relief items to about 125-thousand people. VOA English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua has the story.

The Red Cross says the floods are the worst to hit Kenya since 1997. Regional delegate Mohammed Mukhier says those needing help are spread over a wide area.

He says, "Those people are actually in four provinces: In Nyanza province, Northeastern Province, Western Province, Central Province and the Eastern Province. Now, our main focus of operation is actually Nyanza Province, more specifically in four districts: Nyando, Migori, Kisumu, and Isiolo."

The Red Cross Official says the appeal for relief items includes blankets, tarpaulins, jerry cans, mosquito nets and water purification tablets. He also says they need medical supplies. "So, we want to prepare if there is going to be any outbreak of cholera because in our experience, this is what normally happens after floods, " he says.

Many people have been displaced because of swelling of the Migori and Kuja Rivers. But Mr. Mukhier says there’s also concern about the Tana River.

He says, "On Tana River there are a number of bridges. And there is a very high likelihood of flash floods as a result of water coming down from mount Kenya."

The Red Cross says the towns of Garissa and Hola in particular are at very high risk of floods. It says the Tana River may overflow at three hydro-electric dams in the coming days.