Nearly One Million People in East Africa Affected by Devastating Floods and Landslides, According to UNICEF

Deserted vans in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.Photographer: AP Photo

Nairobi (AX) – UNICEF has reported that almost one million people in Eastern Africa are suffering from floods and landslides caused by heavy rains, stressing the urgent need for humanitarian aid.

The latest report on East Africa flood situation from UNICEF states that a large number of individuals have been displaced in Burundi, Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania. Extensive damage has been recorded, including impacts on homes, schools, infrastructure, as well as the loss of crops and livestock.

Etleva Kadilli, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, expressed concerns in Nairobi, Kenya, stating that heavy rains and subsequent floods have disrupted lives and posed notable risks to children in the affected areas.

“Currently, ensuring safety, health, access to food, clean water, and vital services are top priorities. UNICEF is collaborating closely with governments and local partners, engaging with affected communities to identify urgent needs, ensuring children are safe, able to continue learning, and receive necessary psycho-social support,” stated Etleva Kadilli.

The heavy rains in the region, worsened by the 2023-2024 El Nino climate phenomenon, have resulted in numerous casualties. Schools in Kenya were shut for weeks and are set to reopen next week. The floods have also triggered another cholera outbreak, with 48 cases reported. In Somalia, over 160,000 people, of which two-thirds are children, have been impacted by the recent flooding.

Kadilli stressed that the susceptibility of communities in eastern and southern Africa has risen amidst the deepening crisis of droughts and floods caused by El Nino, raising significant concerns about the future of children in the area.

“Children, youth, and women, including those with disabilities, are particularly vulnerable to violence, abuse, and exploitation as humanitarian needs escalate. With invaluable support from donors and partners, UNICEF is actively involved on the ground. Collaborating with governments, civil society, and local communities, we are providing life-saving interventions and preparing for potential increases in humanitarian needs,” said Kadilli.

Kadilli also underscored that sustained and adaptable assistance from donors and multilateral climate funds, including investments and other inventive financing with governments in climate prevention and readiness programs, will be crucial in saving lives and enhancing the resilience of children repeatedly impacted by climate emergencies.

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