Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans have been displaced by flooding over the last few weeks as unusually heavy seasonal rains continue to pound the East Africa and Horn of Africa regions. The Kenya Red Cross Society reports that at least 34 people died in November after rivers across the country burst their banks, submerging houses and crops, destroying roads and bridges and leaving thousands of people stranded and at the mercy of crocodiles and waterborne disease. However, local officials put the total number of dead at 51.
The situation has been particularly bad in the east and northeast of the country, where the affected population includes tens of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Somalia. Local and international aid agencies are working to assist victims amid calls on the government of president Mwai Kibaki to declare the floods a national disaster.
The United Nations estimates that a total of 1.8 million people are affected by flooding in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, where over 1,000 people have reportedly been killed since August. Heavy rainfall is forecast to continue until January and the effects are also being felt beyond the region, in Rwanda, Malawi and Sudan.