At least 70 people killed by flooding in Kenya as more rain is expected through the weekend

More than 130,000 people are currently affected with thousands of houses washed away and others flooded.
Residents rescue a woman who was caught during heavy rain in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2024.
Residents rescue a woman who was caught during heavy rain in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2024.Photo | AP

NAIROBI: Flooding and heavy rains in Kenya have killed at least 70 people since mid-March, a government spokesperson said Friday, twice as many as were reported earlier this week.

The East African country has seen weeks of heavy rains and severe flooding in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, as well as in the country's western and central regions.

Kenya's government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura on Friday refuted claims that hundreds of people have died in the ongoing flooding and said the official tally now stands at 70.

Kenyan Red Cross personnel and volunteers conduct search and rescue missions, around houses submerged by flood water in Machakos county, Kenya Monday, April 22, 2024
Kenyan Red Cross personnel and volunteers conduct search and rescue missions, around houses submerged by flood water in Machakos county, Kenya Monday, April 22, 2024Photo | AP

Five bodies were retrieved Friday from a river in Makueni county, east of the country, after a lorry they were traveling in was swept off a submerged bridge, local station Citizen TV reported. Another 11 were rescued.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said Friday at a news briefing that the government had set aside 4 billion Kenya shillings ($29 million) for emergency relief efforts, but did not provide further details.

More than 130,000 people are currently affected with thousands of houses washed away and others flooded. Some 64 public schools in the capital were flooded and had to shut down. Roads and bridges have been damaged or destroyed.

The Kenya Meteorological Department on Friday issued a heavy rainfall advisory for the weekend and urged residents to be vigilant.

Other East African countries have reported flooding with 155 people reported to have died in neighboring Tanzania and more than 200,000 people affected in Burundi.

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