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Death toll from floods rises to 39 in Kenya

English.news.cn   2013-04-17 23:54:13            

NAIROBI, April 17 (Xinhua) -- At least 39 people have lost their lives and some 66,463 others displaced by raging flash floods caused by heavy rains across the East African nation, a humanitarian agency said on Wednesday.

The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said the flash floods which have caused damage to infrastructure system and disrupted learning in several schools have also injured 19 people while four others are still missing.

"There is a danger of the affected populations contracting malaria and water borne diseases, as there are pools of stagnant water all over with residents using the same water for their basic needs," KRCS said.

According to the relief agency, at least 8,000 people have been marooned in Isiolo County in eastern Kenya following heavy rains in the area for the last two weeks.

"In Korbesa village at least 820 households have been affected with roads from Merti cut off. Further, there is food shortage with villagers not being able to access shops and markets and the few accessible ones have hiked prices, posing a purchase challenge for the villagers," he said.

The latest information came as the Kenya Meteorological Department said due to the already saturated soils and the long rains season which is set to continue, the flooding menace could continue well into May.

Director of Meteorological Services Dr. Joseph Mukabana called for the immediate establishment of the national disaster operations center to help alleviate the suffering of Kenyans who are caught in harm's way owing to climate related disasters.

Mukabana called for continued targeted investment in meteorological infrastructure to help improve the forecasting and dissemination of information to the public in order to reduce risks associated with climate impacts.

Kenyan government is also putting in place measures that will permanently solve flash floods problem in the East African nation.

Deputy President William Ruto said on Sunday that a Disaster Management Authority will be established soon which be charged with disaster mitigation and management in the country.

"I want to assure Kenyans that we are putting everything in place to contain floods among other emergencies which might arise so as to eliminate guesswork," Ruto said.

The most affected regions by heavy rains are in Western Kenya, Coastal region and parts of Rift Valley where heavy rains have washed away bridges and rendered many roads impassable, making difficult efforts to reach thousands of people made homeless by the flooding.

Editor: yan
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