Kenya Floods Update: Travel Disruptions Expected as Cyclone Hidaya Nears

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 6, 2024 00:05 AMNews
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Traffic signs submerged in floodwater indicating pedestrian and bicycle paths
Traffic signs submerged in floodwater indicating pedestrian and bicycle paths. Source: pixabay

As flash floods and heavy rains continue to wreak havoc in Kenya, resulting in over 200 fatalities, travelers should be prepared for possible flight disruptions. The neighboring Tanzania is also grappling with severe flooding, claiming the lives of approximately 155 individuals.

The grim statistics provided by Kenya’s Ministry of Interior reveal a death toll that now surpasses 210, with 20 casualties recorded in the last 24 hours. Alongside this, 125 people suffer injuries and ninety individuals remain missing, raising concerns about potential entrapment. The catastrophe has led to the displacement of about 3,100 households and the destruction of 1,967 schools.

While climate phenomena like El Niño contribute to the heavy rainfall, residents attribute the worsening situation to governmental neglect. Poorly maintained drainage systems, particularly evident in areas like Mathare, exacerbate the floods.

In response to the crisis, the Kenyan government, led by President Ruto, mandates evacuations near dams and reservoirs ahead of Cyclone Hidaya. School reopenings are postponed indefinitely, with many facilities serving as shelters. This significant disruption in the education system highlights the extent of the emergency.

Criticism mounts against Ruto’s administration, especially from affected communities and rights groups, over what is seen as inadequate flood management strategies. Human Rights Watch and Greenpeace Africa have emphasized how low-income regions suffer disproportionately, pointing to the floods as a consequence of flawed development practices exacerbated by the climate crisis.

As El Niño rainfall is expected to persist with forecasts extending into June, the plight of affected regions is set to continue. Travelers planning to visit Kenya during this period should stay informed about potential delays and disruptions, and consider the impact of ongoing emergency responses on travel plans.

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