Floods in northern Kenya uproot nearly 14,000 people, UN reports

Displaced Kenyans at police station in Tigoni, 30 kilometres from Nairobi

21 October 2008 – Almost 14,000 people in northern Kenya have been displaced by flash floods that occurred last week, and are in need of urgent supplies such as food, shelter and clean water, the United Nations humanitarian wing reported today.

Elizabeth Byrs of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told reporters in Geneva that at least three people were killed and 6,000 uprooted from their homes in the district of Mandera in north-east Kenya, when the River Daua burst its banks on 14 October.

Sixteen people remain missing following the resulting floods, which submerged seven wells and 350 toilets and closed down three schools.

A major concern right now is contaminated water sources and disease outbreak which threaten the 150,000 residents of Mandera. Ms. Byrs stressed the need to ensure the distribution of water purification tablets and to repair the damaged water sources.

The recent flood-related displacement had exacerbated inter-clan tensions, she added.

Meanwhile, more than 7,500 people have been affected by floods in Turkana district in north-west Kenya. There are major concerns about food security in that community and the impact of the floods on their harvest.

Urgent needs for both communities include food supplies for one month, rapid construction of latrines, water purification tablets, tents, covers, mosquito nets and repairing the water supply system, said Ms. Byrs.


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