NAIROBI: Kenya on Sunday said that tens of thousands of people across the country had been impacted by heavy rains, flooding, and landslides that had also interrupted cargo services at Mombasa port.
In recent weeks, the Horn of Africa has experienced intense rainfall linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon that has claimed dozens of precious lives, including at least 46 in different parts of Kenya.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said at least 80,000 households in the country had been affected “with numbers rising every day”, according to AFP news agency.
Rescue Activities in Kenya
He said the government was responding to “save our people,” including with helicopters and other emergency services to deliver assistance and rescue marooned families.
Rigathi Gachagua said that this situation has continued to threaten lives. He urged the public to avoid floodwaters and evacuate homes in low-lying areas. The prolonged rainfall was likely to extend into the first quarter of next year, he added.
Officials said that 9 people have died in the coastal region since last week, including two passengers in a vehicle belonging to the Kenya Revenue Authority that was swept off a flooded bridge in Kwale County on Friday morning.
The interior ministry said Sunday that a multi-agency team led by the Kenya Coast Guard Service is trying to retrieve the bodies.
Kenya Railways said floods and landslides had caused an “unexpected delay” in aid deliveries to Mombasa port and along the cargo rail line to Nairobi.
The state-owned railway said in a statement on Saturday posted on X that this has disturbed normal train operations, including cargo transfers, loading as well as offloading activities at the Port of Mombasa.
It added that a landslide in one section of the line between Nairobi and Mombasa had resulted in “the closure of that section for all freight trains,” but limited passenger services were still moving.