Heavy rains in Kenya lead to deaths of 13 people, displacement of 15,000 others

Heavy rains pounding different parts of Kenya have led to 13 deaths and displaced around 15,000 people, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said, as forecasters warn more rains can be expected until June. Citing the Kenya Red Cross Society, the U.N Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Thursday that nearly 20,000 people were affected, including an estimated 15,000 people displaced by heavy rains and flash floods across the country since the middle of March when the wet season began. Kenya has seen thousands of people killed by flooding in previous rainy seasons, mostly in the lake regions and downstream of major rivers. The Kenya Red Cross Society told that five major roads were cut off by floods, including Garissa Road in northern Kenya where a bus carrying 51 passengers was swept away on Tuesday. All passengers were rescued. Kenya’s disaster management agency issued a flood warning to residents of Lamu, Tana River and Garissa counties that are downstream of Tana River after flooding breached dams upstream. Residents have been urged to move to higher grounds. So far, nine out of 47 counties in the country have reported flooding incidents. Mudslides have been reported in the central regions. On Tuesday four people were killed in , in the western part of the country. The Kenya Red Cross Society’s secretary general, Ahmed Idris, told Citizen TV that “lifesaving assistance” including shelter and clean drinking water was being offered to those displaced and are living in camps to avert outbreaks of waterborne diseases. The rainy season is expected to reach its peak towards the end of April and subside in June, according to the meteorology department.