Kenya warns citizens to brace for heavy rains

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 11:21 |
Residents of Nyando salvage their property after River Nyando broke its banks in Kisumu, Kenya, April 21, 2020. (Xinhua/Fred Mutune)

Kenya has warned its citizens to brace for heavy rains and severe flooding, landslides and mudslides across the country.

Fred Matiang'i, cabinet secretary for Interior, advised communities living in areas prone to severe floods, landslides, and mudslides to move to safer grounds due to the severity of the ongoing danger-level rainfall and floods, which are expected to get worse as evidenced by overflowing dams.

"We are putting our heads together and organizing ourselves to deal with a clearly impending challenge. We are working jointly to see how we can effectively support the Kenyans camping in schools and other facilities to avoid the negative consequences of the rains," Matiang'i told journalists in Nairobi.

His remarks come after the Kenya Meteorological Department (MET) warned that the ongoing rains will increase, exposing Kenyans in risk-prone areas to flooding and landslides.

Stella Aura, the Director of MET noted that the long rains which began in March may continue until June.

Aura advised Kenyans to heed to the routine updates from MET for their safety and the safety of their property.

"Do not ignore these directives from your leaders and experts, heed the warning and move to safer, higher grounds," Matiang'i said.

He called upon Kenyans to heed the government's advisories and evacuation warnings and steer clear of impending hazards due to heavy rainfall lashing in various parts of the country.

The official said the government is working collaboratively with county governments to avert further loss of lives, reduce the impact of weather-related disasters, and increase the vulnerable communities' preparedness.

The warning comes after four people were killed and 28 others are missing following heavy rains and subsequent mudslides that tore through villages northwestern county of West Pokot on Saturday night.

The authorities have stepped up rescue efforts despite being hampered by bad weather to help find the missing persons following the incident which also destroyed property in the area.

Projections from experts in the Ministry of Energy show that the lower parts of Garissa and Tana in northeast Kenya will be flooded in the next two days. (Xinhua)

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