Kenya floods death toll rises to 210 as heavy rains persist

Friday May 03 2024

A section of the flooded Narok/Maai Mahiu road at Suswa area in Kenya on March 25,2023. PHOTO | NMG


The death toll from the raging floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in Kenya since March has risen to 210, with dozens of people still missing, the government announced on Friday.

The Ministry of Interior and National Administration said that 196,296 people have been impacted by the heavy rains, which have left people homeless and destroyed roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure across the country.

In a statement issued in Nairobi, the ministry said that a cumulative 125 people have been reported injured, while 90 people are currently missing.

About 33,100 households have been displaced, affecting around 165,500 people, and 1,967 schools have had their infrastructure destroyed by the floods.

Read: UNHCR warns of displacements in Africa due to heavy rains

"All citizens and non-citizens are advised to adhere to guidance and evacuation orders provided by authorities, limit travel to essential trips only, and stay vigilant over the weekend," the ministry said.


During rescue operations, the police collected 16 bodies on Thursday. The meteorological department predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in over 33 counties, including the capital Nairobi, from Friday to Sunday.

Despite sunny intervals in the coastal region, Tropical Cyclone Hidaya, which has developed over the South Indian Ocean, is forecasted to bring strong winds and large ocean waves, with heavy rainfall starting on Sunday.

The ministry said that mandatory evacuation along rivers in Nairobi County is underway, with the government facilitating logistical support, temporary shelter and essential supplies to those affected.

"Flooding is expected in low-lying areas, riparian areas and urban areas, while landslides/mudslides may occur in areas with steep slopes, escarpments, and ravines," the ministry added.

There have also been cases of landslides and mudslides in central Kenya affecting families, including young children, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society.

In a coordinated effort involving ground and aerial units, authorities rescued 90 tourists who were marooned in the world-famous Maasai Mara National Reserve after a river overflowed on Wednesday due to heavy downpours.

Read: Kenya evacuates tourists stuck in flooded wildlife sanctuary

The ministry said that a total of 115 camps have been set up across 19 counties, hosting 27,586 people.

The devastating floods are exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the country, just as it emerges from the El Nino floods in late 2023, which killed at least 178 people, injured 242 and displaced thousands.