In Kenya, bad weather has killed 228 people since March

Kenya announced on Sunday, May 5, a new death toll of 228 since March due to bad weather, which shows no sign of abating, even though the country escaped the ravages of a cyclone that swept through on Saturday, May 4

In Kenya, bad weather has killed 228 people since March

Kenya announced on Sunday, May 5, a new death toll of 228 since March due to bad weather, which shows no sign of abating, even though the country escaped the ravages of a cyclone that swept through on Saturday, May 4. coasts and those of Tanzania. Tropical cyclone Hidaya hit these two countries without causing major damage after losing power when it made landfall on Saturday. Tanzania announced on Sunday that the cyclone no longer posed a danger to the country.

However, Nairobi stressed that Kenya was still experiencing torrential rains which are likely to lead to further landslides and flooding. In the west of the country, a river burst its banks at dawn on Sunday, flooding a police station, a hospital and a market in the town of Ahero, in Kisumu County, police reported. Water levels continue to rise and the main bridge on the outskirts of Kisumu, on the Nairobi highway, has been submerged. “The situation is serious,” summarized a government spokesperson, Isaac Mwaura, on Sunday during a press briefing devoted to the crisis.

In a statement published early Sunday on the social network “Therefore, there is no longer any threat of Tropical Cyclone Hidaya in our country,” she concluded. The beaches were deserted on Saturday, shops closed and maritime transport suspended in the Zanzibar archipelago. The country has been hit by bad weather since the beginning of April which has left at least 155 dead. As the cyclone approached, heavier than normal rainfall was recorded in coastal regions.

More than 200,000 displaced

In Kenya, the cyclone also caused strong waves, strong winds and rainfall which could intensify from Sunday. One fisherman died and another was missing, Mwaura said. According to government figures, bad weather has left 228 dead and 72 missing since March. More than 212,000 people have been displaced “by choice or by force,” according to Isaac Mwaura. Kenya's interior ministry has ordered anyone living near large rivers or 178 "dams or reservoirs filled or almost filled with water" to evacuate the area.

Mr Mwaura also warned of the risk of water-borne diseases. A case of cholera has been reported, as well as diarrhea. The director general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Jagan Chapagain, said on Saturday on X that forecasts suggesting further rainfall raise “great concerns about a broader humanitarian crisis.”

The Kenyan government has been accused of unpreparedness and responding too late to the crisis despite weather warnings. The opposition Azimio party called on him to declare a state of national disaster. In an address to the nation on Friday, President William Ruto called the weather forecast "disastrous", blaming the calamitous cycle of drought and floods on a failure to protect the environment.

Rainfall in East Africa was made worse by El Niño. This natural climatic phenomenon generally associated with global warming causes droughts in certain parts of the world and heavy rains elsewhere. In Burundi, at least 29 people have died and 175 have been injured since the rainy season began in September, and other weather-related deaths have also been reported in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda.