NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya could be staring at a health crisis as
raging floods that have wreaked havoc in many parts of the
country threaten to unleash a wave of communicable diseases like
cholera, typhoid, malaria and flus.
The Ministry of
Health and relief agencies have sounded alarm over possible
disease outbreaks in low lying parts of the country and major
cities grappling with the extreme weather event.
So far, the Ministry
of Health has directed county governments to allocate funds
toward mitigating the outbreak of water-borne diseases in the
light of flooding occasioned by heavy downpour.
The Kenya Red Cross
in its latest briefing revealed that 112 Kenyans had died as a
result of floods since mid-March when the long rains began.
Abbas Gullet, the
Secretary General at Kenya Red Cross, said at a media briefing
on Friday that an estimated 260,000 people displaced by floods
were staring at risk of vector borne diseases in the absence of
“We are monitoring
the situation in the camps for people displaced by floods to
ward off disease outbreaks. Our volunteers have been providing
purification gadgets in flooded regions to keep water-borne
diseases at bay,” said Gullet.
The Kenya Red Cross
has already made a 5 million U.S. dollar appeal from local and
foreign well-wishers to strengthen provision of emergency
assistance to 150,000 flood victims in the western, northeastern
and coastal regions.
Gullet said the bulk
of the money will be earmarked for supply of food, clean
drinking water and medical kit to families marooned by floods in
low lying Kenyan plains.
“Our immediate areas
of intervention include supply of water treatment chemicals to
prevent a cholera outbreak in flooded regions,” said Gullet,
adding that flood victims will also be supplied with mosquito
nets to minimize the risk of contracting malaria.
Kenya and its
neighbors in the greater eastern African region such as Rwanda
and Somalia have been experiencing above normal rainfall
accompanied by flash floods.
The three countries
have attracted international media spotlight as heavy flooding
continue to terminate lives while destroying transport, power
and communications infrastructure as well as hospitals and
This phenomenon that
is linked to climate change has in particular cast a dark shadow
on Kenya’s quest to achieve food security after a prolonged
the central government and relief agencies have scaled up
emergency interventions in regions affected by flooding to
prevent a humanitarian crisis.
Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, has been
overseeing efforts to rescue communities marooned by floods and
relocate them to safer grounds.
During a recent tour
of the epicenter of flooding in the coast region, Wamalwa said
the government had set aside adequate funds to cater for food,
shelter, clean water and medical services to flood victims.
“The government has
mobilized funds, personnel and equipment to ease suffering of
people affected by floods. We are aware that many schools and
hospitals have been submerged thus denying essential services to
flood victims,” Wamalwa said during a visit to the coast region.
Counties affected by
floods have intensified surveillance to prevent an outbreak of
vector-borne diseases that could place enormous strain on public
Local media reports
indicate that counties in western Kenya and the coast region
have sought additional financial support from the central
government and relief agencies to procure essential drugs and
promote environmental hygiene in the wake of heavy flooding.
Health officers in
the coastal city of Mombasa have been educating communities on
necessary measures in order to avoid contracting vector borne
diseases like malaria and chikungunya.
The risk of
water-borne diseases also looms large in western Kenyan counties
thanks to destruction of sanitation facilities by storm waters.
As floods destroy
healthcare facilities in remote Kenyan counties, the spread of
infectious diseases could escalate in the absence of strong
700 acres of crops destroyed as
heavy rains hit northern Tanzania
ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Heavy rains which hit the northern Tanzania’s
region of Kilimanjaro region for the past two days have
destroyed farms and swept away more than 700 acres of tomato and
maize crops, local authorities said on Monday.
Mwanga District is
one of the areas in Kilimanjaro Region which are heavily
affected by the rains.
Kituri village chairman in Kileo ward of Mwanga District, said
in an interview that the situation is worse as the rains have
also destroyed more than 150 houses with 30 of them being
“We have found
shelter for the flood victims at government schools and
institutions,” Samwel Said, noting that the tragedy was caused
by flood waters from Ghona and Kifaru Rivers.
He said the floods
also destroyed people’s properties and appealed to Samaritans,
institutions and non-governmental organizations to support the
victims with blankets, mattresses, and foodstuff.
Rose Kessy, one of
the flood victims, said the government should think of providing
them with relief food as their hopes for bumper harvests this
season had been dampened.
Mwanga District Executive Director, said the district disaster
management committee will soon meet to evaluate the total damage
cost and discuss on how to assist the victims.
Last week, the
Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) warned there would be heavy
rains this week at various parts of the country
TMA forecast that
coast regions including Dar es Salaam, Coast, Tanga, and the
Isles of Zanzibar would receive heavy rains accompanied by
In April, 15 people
were killed due to floods caused by an incessant downpour in
different parts of the east African nation. Among the affected
regions include Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s business capital,
Arusha, Manyara, Tabora and Zanzibar archipelago.
toll rises to 18 in Rwanda landslides
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
The number of people died in landslides in
western Rwanda has risen to 18 following heavy rains overnight,
a local official said on Monday.
The downpour, which
started from around 8 p.m. on Sunday and lasted until 2 a.m. on
Monday local time, triggered landslides that killed the victims
from Rwankuba sector, Karongi district.
Seven people are
admitted at hospital, said executive secretary of Rwankuba
sector Vedaste Kuzabaganwa.
The search for
missing residents was completed Monday evening and there were no
more residents unaccounted for, Kuzabaganwa told a media
Heavy rains have
caused a large number of casualties in Rwanda since the
beginning of this year.
In the first four
months of the year, at least 183 people were killed and 215
others were injured in Rwanda by disasters triggered by heavy
rains, according to the country’s Ministry of Disaster
Management and Refugees.