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Devastating Floods in East Africa

floods in east africa floods in east africa

East African countries continue to deal with devastating floods as hundreds of thousands are displaced, experts worry about the implications in the response to coronavirus pandemic.

Flooding has affected 29 of the country’s 47 counties. Wide areas of land are under water in Busia and Siaya counties, western Kenya, after the Nzoia river overflowed.

According to government figures, around 210 people have died in flooding since late march when the rains started Government Minister of Devolution Eugene Wamalwa said.

He further added “More than 600,000 Kenyans in 122,000 households have been adversely affected by the effects of the ongoing heavy rains, which are expected to continue up to June.”

He added “It is unfortunate that the floods and landslides are being experienced at a time when the country is grappling with the COVID -19 .All floods affected persons in various camps will be issued with face masks while clean water will be provided through water bowsers”

Aircraft have been deployed for aerial surveillance of flooded areas to locate individuals and communities marooned or cut-off due to the raging floods.

Ethiopia and Somalia

Over 200,000 people in Ethiopia have been affected since late April, according to the United Nations.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that flooding had affected 219,000 people in areas of Somali, Afar, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNP), Dire Dawa and Harari in Ethiopia.

As many as 107,000 people have been displaced, mostly in Somali region after flash floods on 25 April affected 34,507 households and displaced 15,195 households in Erer, Sitti, Nogob and Korahe zones.

On 24 April, flash floods in Dire Dawa killed four people and damaged 53 houses (fully) and 212 houses (partially).

OCHA said, “Local communities in the Dawa zone that spoke to humanitarian partners, stated that they have never experienced such amount of water in the Dawa River. On May 4, the flood caused a total collapse of the main bridges between Hudet to Negalle and Mubarak to Filtu. In addition to this, the rains made travel to rural areas within the Dawa zone difficult.”


Rwanda has not been spared as the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MINEMA) said that heavy rainfall from 06 to 07 May caused at least 65 fatalities in Northern, Western and Southern Provinces. Later media reports said the figure was above 70.

MINEMA said 7 districts were affected including Gakenke (22 fatalities), Rulindo (1) and Musanze (6) in Northern Province; Ngororero (5), Rubavu (1) and Nyabihu (18) in Western Province; and Muhanga (12) in Southern Province.

The rain and floods also destroyed 91 houses, 5 bridges, and washed away crops, according to MINEMA.

This is the second spate of flood- and rain-related fatalities in the last few days. Last week MINEMA reported that heavy rain across the country from 01 to 03 May caused severe damages and 8 fatalities. Meteo Rwanda said the Mushubati weather station in Rutsiro District recorded 81mm of rainfall on 02 May.


More than 100,000 people have been affected by floods that hit Kasese District  of Uganda on  destroying  farms, bridges, schools, houses and other properties.

According to residents, the floods are due to the overflowing of major rivers from the Mt Rwenzori.
These include rivers Nyamughasana, Mubuku, Lhubiriha and Nyamwamba.
At Kilembe Hospital, the facility has been temporary closed as government moves in to relocate flood victims.
“We lost everything at the hospital. We found it wise to close and relocate our patients to neighbouring hospitals where they can get immediate treatment,” Dr Edward Wafula, the Kilembe Hospital Medical Superintendent, said.



Strong winds and heavy rain combined to cause a lake to overflow in Ituri province, Democratic Republic of the Congo on 02 May.

Local media said flooding from Lake Albert damaged or destroyed around 100 homes in Djugu Territory in the north east of the country. Hundreds of people have been displaced. Several people, including children, were rescued from flood water.





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Last modified on Monday, 11 May 2020 07:22

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