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Tragic Floods in Central Kenya: Dam Burst Claims 42 Lives, Including 17 Minors

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Ayize claire

Apr 29, 2024

Immediate Aftermath and Rescue Operations

The latest deaths bring the toll from heavy rains and flooding since last month to more than 140. Excluding the Mai Mahiu incident, government figures show 103 people had been killed and more than 185,000 displaced as of Monday. The Kenya Red Cross said on X that its personnel had retrieved two bodies after a boat capsized late on Sunday in the Tana River, in eastern Kenya's Garissa County. Twenty-three people were rescued from the same incident.
A team of rescue workers trying to reach out to the affected people

Early Monday in central Kenya's Mai Mahiu area, a catastrophic dam burst led to deadly floods that have claimed the lives of at least 42 people, including 17 minors. The disaster has escalated the crisis in regions already battered by severe weather, with the death toll from recent flooding exceeding 140.

The aftermath of the dam collapse was severe, with significant damage to local infrastructure. Images shared on social media by Kenyan media, the Kenya Red Cross, and highway authorities depicted scenes of devastation, including uprooted trees and vehicles ensnared in debris. Naivasha police commander, Stephen Kirui, confirmed the death toll from the site of the tragedy in Kijabe, highlighting ongoing search and rescue operations.

This season's heavy rains have wreaked havoc across East Africa, not only in Kenya but also in neighboring countries like Tanzania and Burundi, causing extensive displacement and infrastructural damage. In Kenya alone, excluding the Mai Mahiu incident, official reports as of Monday noted 103 fatalities and the displacement of over 185,000 individuals due to floods.

The Kenya Red Cross has been actively involved, providing aid and conducting rescue missions, including the recovery of bodies from a capsized boat in Tana River. To ensure public safety, Kenya's education ministry has delayed the start of the new school term by a week, citing the severe impact of the rains on school facilities.

The floods have inflicted significant damage on critical infrastructure, including roads and bridges. A notable incident occurred at an underpass near Nairobi's international airport, though airport operations continue.The floods have also brought hydroelectric dams to capacity, raising fears of further overflows.

The repeated flooding incidents highlight the urgent need for robust disaster preparedness and climate adaptation strategies. As rescue and relief efforts continue, the focus is on supporting the affected communities and reinforcing infrastructure to withstand future extreme weather events.

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