A woman fills a jerrycan with clean water at a water point installed by Action Against Hunger in Bandi Camp, Kenya.

Action Against Hunger Responds to Severe Flooding in Kenya

Emergency teams are providing basic necessities, screening children for malnutrition, and working to prevent disease outbreaks among populations displaced by floods.

Highlights

  • More than 600,000 people across Kenya have been affected, including more than 123,000 people who have been displaced from their homes. 
  • At least seven counties have been affected by heavy rains, which are expected to continue.
  • Flooding has heightened the risk of an outbreak of cholera.

Situation Overview

Severe flooding in Kenya has displaced more than 123,000 people, killing 132 and injuring 23, according to the National Disaster Management Agency. More than 6,000 livestock have died and floodwaters have submerged more than 9,500 acres of farmland. Infrastructure including houses, health centers, schools, and roads have been damaged or destroyed.

In Tana River County, latrine coverage is low -- just 38 percent -- and flooding further heightens the risk of a cholera outbreak. Malaria is endemic to the region, and the Department of Health has reported an increase in cases, attributed to the floods.

Action Against Hunger’s Response

Action Against Hunger, in partnership with the County government, Kenya Red Cross, and other agencies, and with funding from the START Fund and ECHO, has formed an emergency response team to provide emergency supplies and services to the most vulnerable families affected by the floods in Tana River County. 

“We are currently targeting 12,600 beneficiaries in displacement camps with water and sanitation, and health and nutrition interventions,” says Edgar Okoth Onyango, Head of Health and Nutrition for Action Against Hunger in Kenya. “So far, our teams in the field have provided non-food items, including blankets, kitchen sets, soap, and sanitary towels, to 1,000 households. 12,000 children have been screened for malnutrition, and we have also sensitized a team to promote and support best practices for care and feeding of infants and young children.”

Children, who have been displaced by flooding, attend an Action Against Hunger education session on good hygiene practices.

Photo: Brian Kimanthi
for Action Against Hunger, Kenya

To improve access to clean water and safe sanitation, Action Against Hunger has provided 85 portable latrines and, in addition to what the County had supplied, is targeting 14,000 individuals. Our water treatment interventions are expected to reach 10,000 beneficiaries, who will also benefit from hygiene promotion sessions.

According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, the month of May marks the peak of the long rains season, with near-normal rainfall to highly increased rainfall expected across the country. The rains are likely to continue through to June. 

“We are preparing for a big response in the coming days. We need to put all our efforts toward avoiding the spread of disease in this emergency,” says Onyango. 
 

Festus Anallo, a small-scale farmer, looks out over his home and lands, which have been devastated by flooding.

Photo: Brian Kimanthi
for Action Against Hunger, Kenya

Devastating Impact of Flooding: Festus Anallo's Story

Nearly 80 percent of the subcounty of Tana Delta has been left submerged by the flooding. One of the affected residents, Festus Anallo, a 61-year-old husband and father of ten, escaped from the floods and found refuge at Kijo farm, along with more than 84 other families. 

“Not all our children have gone back to school because the Bularahma school is still flooded and cannot be accessed,” he says. “It has been just four days since those who go to Gamba school have resumed.”

Before the floods, Festus and his family were farmers. Looking out over his former home, now caving in due to water damage, he recounts the damage and his lost livelihood: “My two canoes are submerged in the water. I have lost 20 lemon trees, kale and tomato nurseries, and about 25 pipes that I use for irrigation.”

 

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Press contact:
Elizabeth Wright
ewright@actionagainsthunger.org

 

Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children. We ensure everyone can access clean water, food, training and healthcare. We enable entire communities to be free from hunger.