Crucial Pleas for Assistance as Catastrophic Flooding Ravages Eastern Africa


The process of flood evacuation organized by the Kenya Red Cross. Photo: X/@kenyaredcross

NAIROBI (AX) — Severe floods have wreaked havoc on parts of Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, and Tanzania in Eastern Africa. The latest reports from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicate that approximately 848,773 individuals have been affected by the intense seasonal rains, resulting in the displacement of over 350,155 people. Immediate international assistance is required to support the ongoing humanitarian operations.

In Kenya, the situation is particularly grave, with 267 confirmed fatalities attributed to the floods. The infrastructure has suffered significant damage, including 61 roads, 103 schools, and 42 health facilities. The overflow from the Seven Forks hydroelectric dams since late April has exacerbated the conditions in Garissa, Tana River, and Lamu counties.

The flooding in Somalia and Burundi has also caused widespread displacement and property damage. In Somalia, more than 37,120 individuals have been forced to flee their homes, while in Burundi, over 179,200 people have been affected by heavy rains since January.

Following the impact of Tropical Cyclone Hidaya on Mafia Island, Tanzania has experienced extensive destruction. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa reported that 2,098 houses have been impacted, along with severe damage to roads and over 23,500 acres of cropland.

The United Nations, in collaboration with various humanitarian partners, is cooperating with the governments of the affected countries to offer vital assistance. In Kenya, aid efforts have reached 64,820 individuals with shelter and essential supplies, while 45,200 people have received food aid and cash assistance. Furthermore, the UN has allocated $3 million to bolster the flood response initiatives in the nation.

Despite these endeavors, funding for the Somalia 2024 Humanitarian Needs Response Plan remains perilously low at just 11% of the required US$1.6 billion. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has issued an appeal for CHF 18 million to support 50,000 families.

In response to the ongoing crisis, emergency shelters and mobile disaster units have been established in Uganda. Burundi has launched a Flood Response Plan, seeking US$26 million to assist 306,000 vulnerable individuals at risk of further flooding due to the rising levels of Lake Tanganyika.

With persistent heavy rainfall anticipated, the necessity for increased humanitarian aid is crucial. The international community is urged to provide additional funding and assistance to address this environmental catastrophe and alleviate its impact on millions of affected individuals in Eastern Africa.

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