April rains have triggered flash floods in parts of Kenya, including Nairobi, displacing thousands of people and killing at least three.
Abbas Gullet is the secretary general of the Kenyan Red Cross / Red Crescent Society. From Nairobi, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the floods.
“We’ve been facing this very serious drought that we have faced for many years and now the long rains have finally come to most parts of the country. So there have been heavy rainfalls received in many parts of the country and in particular in northern Kenya in Moyale, Marsabit, Mandera, Isiolo. But the area (most) affected was Isiolo and in Garba Tula Division where about 3,000 people were displaced by flash floods four days ago. And they were serious, but the waters have subsided in that area. The Red Cross has been in the area since Saturday. This happened Thursday last week and we were there Friday, Saturday and distributed some relief items. There are floods reported in other parts of the country, but not very serious yet. God forbid, it doesn’t become serious,” he says.
However, rain over the past five days caused flash floods in poor parts of the Kenyan capital.” Gullet says, “There are three people who have lost their lives also in the city of Nairobi in some of the slums.” The flood victims lived along riverbanks.
The Red Cross / Red Crescent Society has dealt with such problems before. “This is a perennial problem,” he says. There is also concern that the rains could trigger outbreaks of disease.