In East Africa, torrential rains linked to El Niño caused 155 deaths in Tanzania and 13 in Kenya

The rainy season, aggravated by the El Niño climatic phenomenon, has deadly consequences in East Africa: Tanzania announced Thursday April 25 that 155 people had died in various disasters and, in neighboring Kenya, floods killed thirteen dead

In East Africa, torrential rains linked to El Niño caused 155 deaths in Tanzania and 13 in Kenya

The rainy season, aggravated by the El Niño climatic phenomenon, has deadly consequences in East Africa: Tanzania announced Thursday April 25 that 155 people had died in various disasters and, in neighboring Kenya, floods killed thirteen dead.

In Tanzania, heavy rains in recent weeks have caused flooding and landslides in various parts of the country, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told Parliament. “More than 51,000 homes and 200,000 people were affected, with 155 deaths, around 236 people were injured and more than 10,000 homes were damaged to varying degrees,” he listed, without specifying the period on which deaths were recorded.

Neighboring Kenya continues to count the dead and search for the missing, the day after flooding in several districts of the capital Nairobi and in neighboring counties, cutting roads and railways. The death toll rose to 13, after the discovery of three bodies in the Mathare slum, one of the hardest hit areas, announced Fred Abuga, police commander of Starehe sub-county, in the center of the city.

Before the floods, at least thirty-two people had died and more than 40,000 had been displaced in the country since the start of the rainy season in March, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). .

The El Niño episode could last until May

Several other countries in the region are affected by unusually heavy rainfall, caused by a new episode of El Niño that began in mid-2023 and could last until May, the World Meteorological Organization warned on March 5 ( WMO). In addition to increasing temperatures, El Niño causes droughts in some parts of the world and heavy rains in others.

El Niño has already wreaked havoc in eastern Africa in the past. In December, at least 89 people were killed in landslides and floods caused by heavy rains in northern Tanzania. Across the region, more than 300 people died.