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Devastating floods ravage parts of east Africa, displacing thousands

A child stands in floodwater in Kisumu, Kenya Wednesday, April 17, 2024.   -  
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Brian Ongoro/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved


Heavy rains and flooding have wrought havoc across East Africa, claiming lives and displacing thousands of people in Kenya and Tanzania.

In Kakola Ombaka, Kenya, residents like Juliana Atieno Ochieng and Duncan Onyango recount the tragic toll of the floods on their lives. Ochieng, who lost her leg due to an injury sustained during the 2019 floods, remains immobilized by the waters that continue to inundate her home. Onyango has suffered substantial livestock and property losses, with his house destroyed five times by the relentless floods.

Assistant Chief Augustine Neto Awich reports that 646 households have been displaced in Kakola Ombaka, with hundreds seeking refuge in evacuation centers or with relatives on higher ground.

The situation is dire across the region, with Kenya reporting at least 13 fatalities from flooding, while Tanzania has recorded 58 deaths in the past two weeks alone. Infrastructure has been severely damaged, exacerbating the crisis.

Authorities are urging residents in flood-prone areas to relocate as the rains persist. The Kenyan meteorological department had issued warnings about the impending heavy rainfall, urging preparedness for potential floods.

As the region braces for further rainfall, the plight of those affected by the floods underscores the urgent need for coordinated disaster response efforts to mitigate the impact on vulnerable communities.

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