Nairobi, Kenya – The Kenya Red Cross is urgently calling for increased efforts from various stakeholders to mitigate the escalating flood crisis in North Eastern Kenya. The situation has led to a significant rise in the number of displaced households, with fears that the figure could soon exceed 40,000.
According to Kenya News Agency, the organization’s regional head, Mohamed Abdikadir, expressed growing concern in a phone interview with KNA. He stated that the continued heavy rains are exacerbating the crisis, with the biggest challenge being the delivery of essential supplies to those cut off by floodwaters.
Abdikadir highlighted the dire need for food, non-food items, shelter, and medications to prevent respiratory and waterborne diseases. Sanitation issues are also a major concern in submerged areas. Mandera County is currently the most affected, with Elwak town and its surroundings completely inundated. In Wajir County, Buna, Diff, and Dadajabula towns are under water, while parts of Garissa County, including Hulugho, Galmagalla, Gurufa, and Modogashe, are either isolated or submerged.
The Kenya Red Cross has resorted to airdropping supplies in inaccessible areas, with ongoing assessments for Dadajabula and plans to airlift relief supplies from Moyale for Buna. The Mandera county government has provided support, including the airlift of 9.8 metric tonnes of supplies to over 1,000 families in Elwak, along with water purifiers.
Additionally, families in various settlements along the River Tana in Garissa and Tana River counties have been displaced. Many have set up temporary roadside shelters, awaiting aid from governmental and humanitarian agencies. The situation is particularly dire for young families and those vulnerable to cold weather and disease outbreaks.
Kofa, a local resident, expressed the community’s distress and need for urgent assistance. Concerns about waterborne and respiratory diseases are mounting among those displaced.
North Eastern Regional Commissioner John Otieno, who recently inspected the damaged Garissa-Modogashe Road, urged the public and motorists to avoid crossing flooded roads. He noted that the 14 fatalities in the region were due to drowning, emphasizing the danger posed by the floods.