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New climate emergency: deadly floods in East Africa

29 November 2019

For several weeks, devastating rains, floods and mudslides have been hitting East Africa, particularly Kenya. Panic-stricken survivors have deserted their villages after losing their homes, livestock, crops and loved ones.

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International Aid – Climate emergency

Asha Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross, said: “We are particularly concerned for the families who have been deprived of all vital support. They are without food or water and may require medical attention. Our teams make every effort to reach these areas, including using boats and walking in deep waters to evacuate families in high-risk areas, conducting search and rescue actions and providing emergency health services. based. “

Dipti Hingorani, Luxembourg Red Cross housing project coordinator, is on site, testifies: “Kenya Red Cross teams are scattered in many places to help evacuate families to safer areas. To date, the Red Cross has distributed shelter kits and other non-food items to 2,200 households. Humanitarian aid is limited mainly due to the difficulty of access to the areas. The situation is likely to worsen because, according to weather forecasts, the rain is not about to stop. “

“We are very concerned about the families cut off from all assistance,” said Dr. Mohammed. They have no food or drink and may need medical attention. Our teams are doing everything they can to access these remote areas. Roads are cut and bridges closed. Kenyan Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i said: “The heavy rains are a challenge but we are doing our best. “

Kenya is not the only country affected in East Africa. In Tanzania, a dozen people drowned, swept away by a flooded river in the district of Mwanza. Rainfall has also left tens of thousands displaced in Somalia, submerged entire cities in South Sudan and killed several people in Ethiopia.

Flooding is a regular phenomenon in the region but scientists explain that a climatic phenomenon centered on the Indian Ocean, of a power never observed in years, caused this devastating rains. The current disturbances are causing a multiplication of climatic episodes which expose local populations to a deadly threat.

The Luxembourg Red Cross, very active in Africa in the field of humanitarian housing, is present in Kenya in collaboration with the International Federation of the Red Cross to develop and consolidate a global strategy in terms of shelters for the populations of Sub-Saharan Africa victims of crises and who find themselves without a decent home.