Last Updated on August 22, 2020

East Africa Struggles with Heavy Rains

East African nations deal with the aftermath of heavy rains

Countries in East Africa have been struggling with the aftermath of heavy rainfalls. The latest being Djibouti, currently going through flash floods. The government of Djibouti and the United Nations have said the equivalent of two years rain fell in a single day in the country.

Between October to mid-November rainfall has been up to 300 percent above average in the East Africa region.


On Thursday, a joint Djibouti-UN statement said up to a quarter of a million people have been affected in recent days in the country on the Red Sea that is home to military bases for the United States, China and others.

With heavy rains forecast through the end of the month, that number could grow.

Djibouti has been called one of the world’s most vulnerable non-island nations in the face of climate change as sea levels rise. Neighbouring Somalia has been hit hard by recent flooding as well.

Heavy Rains and Deadly floods in Kenya

In Kenya, East Africa’s economic hub, the government said 120 people have been killed in flooding and mudslides during an unusually severe rainy season. More than 60 died over the weekend in West Pokot county.

Tens of thousands of people across the country have been displaced, while infrastructure has been damaged, making aid delivery more difficult.

Doctors are worried that diseases, especially waterborne ones, might spread. Some survivors are struggling.

One local official expressed frustration over relief efforts, asserting that the national government’s response to the disaster has been slow and insufficient. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Two villages with almost 5,000 residents in all remain cut off from the rest of the world several days after the flooding.

Governor John Lonyang’apuo said people lacked food because of the slow pace of assistance, saying a helicopter should be operating full time for the duration of the relief efforts.

Spokesman Cyrus Oguna denied that the national government was frustrating relief efforts, saying Kenya’s military was helping to repair damaged roads.

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