Nairobi (Fides Service) – At least one million people have been driven from their homes by severe floods in the eastern regions of Kenya. The provinces most affected are Nyanza and West province. A journalist of a local Catholic news agency CISA reports to Fides Service on the situation: “The River Nzoia overflowed in various places and all the people living along its banks had to be evacuated. For the moment it is impossible to give an estimated figure for the number of victims because many of the affected areas are still completely isolated.”
The disaster was caused by days of heavy incessant rain over Kenya. “The rains caused damage also in areas not directly affected by the flooding. For example a number of districts in the capital Nairobi are without drinking water. Rains damaged dams which provide water for the capital and other cities”.
“One major problem” Fides Service sources report “is malaria. Floods hit areas where malaria is endemic: waters invaded vast areas of land creating an environment even more suited to the proliferation of the Anofele mosquito. The government is now distributing systems of protection against this terrible insect”.
International aid has been forthcoming. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has ordered the immediate sending of tents, food and medicine.
The local Church has also organised assistance. Bungoma diocese in one of the worst hit areas, is collecting and distributing tents, food and other basic necessities for the homeless. LM (Fides Service 6/5/2003 EM lines 25 Words: 278)