Heavy Floods Displace Many in Garissa and Tana River Districts, Kenya by Abdikadir Aden

May 2nd, 2013 | By | Category: Environmental News, Youth Blog

Floods in Garissa (Photo credit: Abdikadir Aden Hassan)

All over the news, from radios to the internet to mobile updates, climate change and its anticipated impacts are all you hear. Though much of the impact is caused by human activities, less is done to address the climate issues.

More than thousands people have been affected by flooding during the past two weeks [in April] in most parts of Kenya from the heavy rains. Northeastern Kenya has been greatly affected, especially settlements along River Tana which is the major source of water. Due to high water pressure, the river has broken its bank leading to the displacement of people and animals.

Heavy rains in these areas have left households displaced as well as caused destruction of property and livelihoods. The heavy floods have been experienced in the area for the past two weeks. Small children keep on playing games, understanding little of the disaster that has displaced them from their original homes, while sleeping in emergency tents. Will this become their permanent home?

The story of food security has now become the story of food insecurity. The local farmers are crying for the mass losses of their crops caused by the heavy floods. They have been made to sleep in hunger while the food they produced cannot be accessed. The deep waters are not reliable, and the river is infested with African crocodiles. No one can risk his or her life. Most of the communities had to be camped and are being fed by different organizations such as the Kenya Red Cross Society and other governmental departments.

Much more suffering is yet to be expected, especially if there are prolonged floods. The critical needs for flood-affected populations include safe water and sanitation, as people’s health is put at risk through use of contaminated water sources and poor sanitation practices and facilities.

To avoid similar incidents happening in the future, there is a need for early warning systems. Though the current government has taken immediate actions to address the emergency issues, the meteorological departments should be able to inform communities earlier, especially when heavy rains and floods will be expected.

There should be promotion of improved hygiene practices and the distribution of hygiene kits which enable people to safely transport, store, and treat their drinking water. Such interventions provide communities in these affected areas with improved access to safe water, therefore mitigating the risk of the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery.



By Abdikadir Aden Hassan, Volunteer Youth Blogger

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