UN warns of Kenya disease outbreaks after devastating floods

Al Jazeera, May 5, 2018

of disease outbreaks as aid workers struggle to reach thousands in need of
shelter after weeks of heavy rains.

The United
has warned of disease outbreaks following devastating
flooding in Kenya,
as aid workers struggle to reach thousands of people in need of shelter after
weeks of torrential rains.
More than
100 people have been killed and over 250,000 have been forced from their homes
by the heavy rainfall since March, the majority of which hit Tana River, Kilifi
and Mandera counties.
major humanitarian concern, beyond the displacement, is disease outbreaks,
particularly cholera and chikungunya, a mosquito-borne disease,” Jens
Laerke, the spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs, told reporters in Geneva on Friday.
He said
there had been almost nearly 3,000 cholera cases, including 55 deaths, by the
end of April in Kenya, which had suffered from three failed rainy seasons.
also warned that flooding
would exacerbate cholera outbreaks and increase the risk of vector-borne
diseases, which also include malaria and dengue fever.
villages and lives’
The Red
Cross appealed on Friday for $5m to fund its emergency operations and help
those affected by flooding, which has washed away bridges and homes.
early March, “112 people have lost their lives
countrywide”, Abbas Gullet, secretary-general of the Red Cross,
said on Friday, adding that some 20,000 animals had been washed away.
48,177 households have been displaced so far and this translates to 260,200
people,” Gullet added.
Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from the River Tana, said the flooding had
“consumed villages and lives”.
along, on a remote shoreline in Hewani, scores of marooned people waited for
days for help to arrive.
The need
for help is urgent, said Simmons, who travelled to the area with one of
the relief teams delivering food rations and enough aid to provide basic
have been here for three days waiting for this help,” Ibrahim Umar Elma, a
displaced farmer, told Al Jazeera.
haven’t received anything. There’s no way I can wait any longer – I need it
Mousa of the Kenyan Red Cross said people such as Elma have “all the
right” to complain but “we can only help where we can.”
are asking more people to come and help us so we can reach more people,”
he added.
Hassan Nuria is a mother of eight who lost her home and all her livestock to
am scared about my children,” she told Al Jazeera. “They’re
hungry, they’re exposed to the rains and because of that we’re likely to fall