Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Urgent calls for aid as devastating floods impact Eastern Africa

Sunday May 12, 2024


Flood evacuation process by Kenya Red Cross. Photo: X/@kenyaredcross

NAIROBI (HOL) — Heavy floods across Eastern Africa have devasted parts of Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, and Tanzania. According to the latest updates from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the intense seasonal rains have impacted approximately 848,773 people, displacing over 350,155. The dire situation calls for immediate international support to bolster ongoing humanitarian efforts.

In Kenya, the situation is particularly severe with 267 reported deaths due to the floods. Infrastructure has been heavily impacted, with damages to 61 roads, 103 schools, and 42 health centers. The overflow of the Seven Forks hydroelectric dams since late April has led to worsening conditions in Garissa, Tana River, and Lamu counties.

The flooding in Somalia and Burundi has also led to massive displacements and destruction of property. In Somalia, more than 37,120 people have 
been displaced, while in Burundi, torrential rains have affected over 179,200 people since January.

Following Tropical Cyclone Hidaya's landfall on Mafia Island, Tanzania has also suffered extensive damage. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa noted that 2,098 houses have been affected, with considerable damage to roads and more than 23,500 acres of cropland.

The United Nations, alongside various humanitarian partners, is working with the governments of the affected nations to provide critical assistance. In Kenya, aid efforts have reached 64,820 people with shelter and non-food items, and 45,200 have received food and cash assistance. Additionally, the UN has released $3 million to ramp up the flood response efforts in the country.

Despite these efforts, the overall funding for the Somalia 2024 Humanitarian Needs Response Plan remains critically low at only 11 percent of the required US$1.6 billion. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has issued an appeal for CHF 18 million to assist 50,000 families.

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

With continued heavy rainfall expected, the need for increased humanitarian aid remains urgent. The international community is called upon to provide additional funding and support to help manage this environmental disaster and mitigate its impact on millions of affected individuals across Eastern Africa.


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