Kenya: Death toll from flooding rises to 70 since March

Severe flooding and heavy rains in Kenya have claimed the lives of at least 70 people since mid-March, double the number of earlier fatalities, Al Jazeera reported yesterday citing the government officials.

The flooding, exacerbated by the El Niño weather pattern, has devastated communities across the East African nation, with over 120,000 people displaced, 22 injured and 8 missing.

The hardest hit areas include the capital Nairobi, where 32 people died this week, and the Rift Valley region, with 15 fatalities. Sixty-four public schools in Nairobi – nearly a third of the capital’s total – have been “substantially affected.”

In response, the government has proposed 3.3 billion Kenyan shillings ($24.5 million) for an “initial emergency response.” This will go towards repairing infrastructure, providing emergency housing, and delivering food assistance.

Despite the devastation, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua stated that schools will reopen as scheduled after the mid-term holidays. However, Kenyans have been warned to remain on high alert, as more heavy rains are forecasted in the coming days as the monsoon season continues to batter East Africa.

The flooding has highlighted Kenya’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, which has contributed to the severity of the extreme weather events.

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