East Africa Battles with Heavy Rain and Flash Floods

  • AUTHOR: fiona
  • POSTED ON: December 13, 2019

Djibouti experiences flash flooding as an equivalent of two years’ rain fell in a single day, according to the government and the United Nations. 

The continuous rainfall from October to mid-November in the greater Horn of Africa region is recorded to be up to 300 per cent above average, Famine Early Warning Systems Network reports. 

A joint statement by Djibouti and the UN declares around a quarter-million people to have suffered due to this excessive downpour. With the forecast indicating further rainfall, the causalities are likely to increase. 

Djibouti is a non-island country but is highly influenced by sea-level rise in the face of climate change. Also, Somalia is reported to experience recent flooding. 

According to government officials, around 120 people have been killed by mudslides and flash flooding in Kenya. Due to the extreme rains, West Pokot has also reached a death toll by 60 over the weekend. 

The Kenya Red Cross Society has provided a staggering figure of displaced 18,000 people across Kenya. With damaged infrastructure and limited access to facilities, providing aid to survivors has become very difficult.

Taabu Simiu, a doctor at West Pokot County Referral Hospital, said: “We have health issues, and is it wounds, is it children who are coming up with pneumonia, is it diarrheal illnesses.”

West Pokot county disaster management official, Monicah Kalinyong’ar, highlighted how the two villages, accommodating around 5,000 residents, were still cut off from the rest of the world.

A local official, on condition of anonymity, expressed frustration and asserted that the government’s response to the catastrophe has been insufficient and slow. 

Governor John Lonyang’apuo emphasized on the shortage of food and linked it with the slow pace of government’s assistance. He also said that reliable relief efforts should be provided by a constantly operating helicopter. 

On the other hand, Spokesman Cyrus Oguna has refuted all these allegations saying that the Kenya military is assisting the government in repairing damaged roads. 

(Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vup1D1-ZaG4)

Updated December 13, 2019
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