4 March 2018

Kenya: Seven Die in Wake of Heavy Rainfall

Seven people have died across the county in the last two days as heavy rains continue to pound the country.

In Kisumu, one person is believed to have died after being swept away by flash floods following Saturday night rains that battered the lakeside city.

The body of the deceased, who is yet to be identified, was retrieved at the banks of a stream in Manyatta Estate on Sunday morning.

Area Chief Charles Odondo said the deceased may have been drunk before drowning.

"We still do not know the exact cause of the death but we suspect that he drowned following heavy rains that flooded part of this area," Mr Odondo said.

DISPLACED

The body was taken to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary as investigations to establish his identity commenced.

In Taita Taveta, three people died and over 150 others displaced due to the rainfall.

Among the dead was Mr Badi Hussein, 96, whose house was swept away by floods in Wanganga village in Mata, Taveta Sub County, on Saturday night.

Timbila Assistant Chief Corneil Salehe said the man, whose body was found trapped inside his mud house by neighbours who had gone to check on him, lived alone.

"It seems he was trying to get out of the house but the heavy floods overpowered him," he said.

LIGHTNING ARRESTERSIn Tharaka South Sub County, three family members died after they were struck by lightning in Kamujwa village on Friday.

Central and Eastern Kenya Red Cross Society coordinator Gitonga Mugambi asked county governments to install lightning arresters.

"These are natural calamities and the only solution is to put in place preventive measures," Mr Mugambi said.

The officer said according to weather forecast, rain is expected to pour in the mountain region, especially areas bordering Mount Kenya and asked residents to remain vigilant to avoid deaths and destruction of property.

He observed that Mitheru region in Tharaka-Nithi County is prone to landslides while flooding is common in Mukothima, Gatunga and Kibunga regions.

Mr Mugambi warned those working in quarries to be cautious and if possible, keep off the deep excavations during heavy rains.

FLOODSDistribution of relief supplies in parts of the North Rift region has become a tall order after floods made roads impassable.

Counties affected are Uasin Gishu, Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet, which are also experiencing starvation due to drought.

"Trucks carrying food and other basic commodities are finding it difficult to access families in need of the supplies due to dilapidated state of the roads," Kibish Sub County Commissioner Eric Wanyonyi said.

Reporting by Barnabas Bii, Victor Otieno, Alex Njeru and Lucy Mkanyika

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