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NEP counties to experience food and fuel crisis due floods



GARISSA—Food, fuel and medical supplies are on the verge of cut-off as the counties of Wajir, Garissa and Mandera continue to brave for more rains and floods.

Over 144,000 people are affected by the ongoing heavy rains and floods in Kenya, according to preliminary findings from the Kenya Red Cross Society.

The rains have driven flash floods, mudslides and landslides in at least 25 counties, destroying key infrastructure and claiming the lives of at least 48 people.

Sharp increases on food and fuel prices due to shortages have been reported in Mandera, parts of Wajir and Marsabit counties, hindering access to food for the most vulnerable.

The heavy rains follow a period of prolonged drought which saw the number of severely food insecure people in Kenya rise to 3.1 million.

Despite some decreases on the rainfall totals, heavy rains continue to cause floods and destruction in Kenya during the last week, especially in the central, western, some parts of north-eastern and coastal regions of the country, according to the Government’s Meteorological Department. 

In Mandera alone, at least 30,000 shoats have so far died, while some 4,700 livestock have been swept away in Marbasit, according to an assessment led by the Kenya Cash Consortium. 

The Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) also informed about sharp increases on food and fuel prices due to shortages in Mandera, parts of Wajir and Marsabit counties, hindering access to food for the most vulnerable. 

Kenya was already facing increase hunger prior to the floods, with 3.1 million people projected to be in crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity since October, according to the latest report from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).

Roads have been cut off in at least eight counties, paralyzing transport and hampering humanitarian assistance in Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Turkana, Garissa, Lamu, Kwale and Mombasa. 

According to FCDC, major road links like the Mandera-Wajir highway at Kutulo, Moyale-Mandera road, the Isiolo-Sericho road, Wajir North and the rest of Wajir West are impassable. In Marsabit County, Sololo-Moyale road has been adversely affected, and people have been displaced in Godoma, Dabel, Bori, Elebor, Wolde and Saku. In Turkana County, Turkana West, Kerio and Loima have been cut off due to flash floods.

Medical supplies have been diminishing because of poor accessibility, and according to FCDC there are fears of imminent shortages of crucial drugs. 

Kenya has been dealing with different disease outbreaks in 2019, including cholera and malaria. The current floods will likely increase the risk of these and other water-borne diseases, including the Rift Valley fever in human and animals, and other livestock illnesses, such as contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, foot rot and foot and mouth diseases.

~Addition report by Kenya ReliefWeb


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