Floods Devastate East Africa: UN Extends Support and Aid

Nairobi, Kenya – The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, expressed deep concern over the devastating impact of flooding in Kenya, Burundi, Somalia, Tanzania, and other parts of East Africa. The recent deluge has claimed hundreds of lives and left many more individuals affected in its wake.

Guterres extended his condolences to the governments and people of the affected countries, emphasizing his sympathy for the families who have lost loved ones or suffered injuries. UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric confirmed that the UN and its partners are collaborating closely with national authorities to address the pressing humanitarian needs arising from the natural disaster.

The Secretary-General highlighted the urgent need to provide additional assistance as the region grapples with the aftermath of El Niño-triggered extreme weather conditions. He expressed particular concern over the potential for these events to further devastate communities and negatively impact their livelihoods.

Dujarric reported that UN agencies are actively supporting Kenya’s Government-led response to the heavy rains, which have resulted in over 170 fatalities since mid-March. Efforts on the ground include the provision of water, sanitation, hygiene supplies, food, health services, and psychosocial support to those affected by the disaster.

The floods have taken a heavy toll on the region, affecting over 190,000 people and displacing more than 150,000 individuals across Kenya. The agricultural sector has also suffered significant losses, with thousands of livestock perishing and tens of thousands of acres of cropland being damaged.

Furthermore, the looming threat of continued rainfall in the upcoming week poses a risk of exacerbating the destruction caused by flooding, landslides, and infrastructure damage. In addition to the human toll, the vital tourism industry in Kenya has taken a hit, with reports of safari-goers being evacuated from flooded hotels and lodges in the Massai Mara national reserve.

On a separate note, the UN migration agency, IOM, and the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, expressed sorrow over the loss of at least 50 migrants who perished while attempting to reach the Canary Islands from Senegal. The vessel carrying the migrants reportedly sank south of El Hierro, underscoring the perils faced by individuals seeking better opportunities in Europe.