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Floods: Death toll rises to 219 as 72 Kenyans still missing amid heavy rains havoc

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki has issued a crucial advisory to the citizens of Kenya, urging them to exercise utmost caution on the roads in anticipation of heavy rainfall forecasted to hit numerous parts of the nation over the forthcoming weekend.

In a recent update dated May 4th, CS Kindiki highlighted the imminent threat of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms looming over 33 counties across Kenya. These counties encompass various regions: Central (Nyeri, Murang’a, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Kirinyaga), Rift Valley (Nandi, Bomet, Nakuru, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Baringo, Samburu, Turkana, Uasin Gishu, Laikipia, Narok), Western (Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia), Lake Victoria Basin (Kisumu, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Siaya, Homabay), Eastern (Machakos, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Marsabit), and Nairobi.

Over the past 24 hours, a number of the aforementioned counties have already experienced significant impact from floods, mudslides, and landslides, necessitating the evacuation of affected families to temporary shelters.

CS Kindiki reported that Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers are actively involved in search and rescue operations in Mai Mahiu, following a tragic incident on Monday which claimed the lives of 53 individuals. The Ministry confirmed the positive identification of 41 bodies, with families duly informed.

In total, the toll from heavy rains stands at a grim count of 219 Kenyan lives lost across all 47 counties. Additionally, 164 individuals are currently undergoing medical treatment for injuries sustained, while 72 persons remain unaccounted for.

The Interior Ministry disclosed that approximately 206,240 Kenyan citizens have been displaced by floods, prompting the establishment of 115 camps across various constituencies to accommodate them. The government has taken proactive steps, distributing over one million kilograms of rice and beans to affected areas, with support also coming from humanitarian organizations.

CS Kindiki implored Kenyans to remain vigilant and stay abreast of road closures caused by flooding, particularly in the regions of Nyanza, Nairobi, Coast, and Central. Furthermore, he cautioned against unnecessary travel, given the looming threat of Kenya’s first-ever cyclone, named Hidaya, anticipated along the coastal line.