El Nino kills 100, displaces over 70,000 others


El Nino kills 100, displaces over 70,000 others

At least 100 people have died over the last three months following the El-Nino rains that continue being experienced in most parts of the country.

According to a United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) report released Wednesday, the 100 people who died drowned in flash floods that hit most parts of the country.

UNOCHA head Peter Manfield, said that the rains also left another 70,000 displacement, a number he says is significantly lower than expected but cautioned the public that more rains will be expected during this festive season.

Manfield said the rains pose a potential threat to the region.

IGAD Director of Climate Prediction and Applications Guleid Artan called on UN agencies to provide more funding to avert the effects of the El-Nino rains.

The directors said there was an increase rains in most parts of the country since the beginning of El Nino.

“A total of 1,460 families are at risk due to their status of living on the slopes of highlands, where more than twelve landslides incidents have occurred sweeping away crops and destroying some houses in the country,” they said.

Manfield said most Kenyans have complained of the effects caused by El-Nino rains since it started with many of them having witnessed devastating flooding throughout the tropics and sub-tropical zones bearing the hallmarks that will never be forgotten.

He urged the government to prepare better in mobilizing its citizenry on the effects of El Nino, the safest places to stay in cases of such a rain and some of the mitigation measures to be put in place to help reduce the magnitude of damages of the rain.

“The number of cases of severe and moderate acute, malnutrition among children has also significantly increased in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Kenya and this trend is likely to persist over coming months,” said Mr. Pete Manfield.

El Niño has had diverse effects in various countries in the Horn of Africa, the report shows, with floods in Kenya, Uganda and parts of Somalia and Ethiopia.

Conversely, drought conditions have been reported in parts of Ethiopia and Sudan and drier-than-average conditions in parts of Eritrea, Greater Upper Nile region of South Sudan, parts of northern Uganda and parts of Somalia.

In total, 18 million people in the Eastern Africa region are at risk of being food insecure and the number is expected to rise significantly in 2016 due to the lasting effects of floods which will affect harvests.

At the same time, there are likely to be increased chances of rains with high risk of flooding in parts of Uganda, Kenya, southern Ethiopia, southern parts of South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and the southern half of Somalia.

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Story By Reuben Wanyama
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