Seven killed as rains pound Kenya - Emirates24|7

Seven killed as rains pound Kenya


At least seven people have died and thousands displaced in Kenya in incidents linked to heavy rains pounding the country, marking the start of the wet season, police said on Monday.


Two children died at a camp in the Rift Valley regional capital Nakuru while three people drowned when western Kenya's River Nyando burst its banks, police said.


Police in Nyanza, one of the most affected regions, urged residents to stay away from river banks to avoid fatalities as the rains showed signs of getting heavier.


"We are warning residents to stay away from rivers that have burst their banks," said the region's police commander chief Antony Kibuchi.


Dozens of families in the nearby Nyando and Rachuonyo districts were displaced and authorities appealed for food and non-food items for them.


The incidents occurred between Friday and Sunday, but the government has moved in to assist thousands displaced by floods as the rainy season starts across the country, police added.


"We are appealing to humanitarian organisations to move in and provide them with tents, food and other aid," said a police commander.


A man drowned in western Kenya's Nyamira district and another died after he was struck by lighting in the eastern district of Isiolo, police added.


More flooding occured in the coastal Taita Taveta district, where thousands of been displaced while schools, villages and farmlands have been deluged by water mainly from the nearby Mount Kilimanjaro, officials said.


Health authorities have warned of the possible outbreak of diseases in the flooded regions, mainly in the west, where at least 39 people have died of cholera in the recent weeks.


In many areas, they said, toilets had collapsed and been swept away, posing a health hazard.


Flooding killed dozens of people and displaced tens of thousands in 2007 and in the previous year.


The floods comes as the country is grappling with hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their villages by violence spurred by the disputed December 27 polls and living in camps mainly in the capital and the western region. (AFP)