Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

UNICEF: 1 Mln Affected by Heavy Rains in East Africa

Mon 13 May 2024 | 10:47 PM
Israa Farhan

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) confirmed that one million people in Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, and Somalia have been affected by unprecedented heavy rains, causing chaos in East Africa and damaging homes and schools.

According to Kenyan media reports citing UNICEF, floods and landslides in East Africa, exacerbated by the 2023-24 La Niña climate phenomenon, have resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives, highlighting the urgent need for humanitarian assistance.

Media reports, based on UNICEF's findings, emphasized that large numbers of people have been displaced amidst significant damage, along with losses in crops and livestock.

Many families have been forced to leave their homes, seeking refuge in temporary shelters or evacuation centers, especially those living near riverbanks without access to water and sanitation facilities.

In Kenya, schools have been closed for several weeks, with plans to reopen next week. Additionally, floods have led to a resurgence of cholera, with 48 reported cases.

In Somalia, over 160,000 individuals, one-third of whom are children, have been affected by recent floods.

UNICEF reiterated its close collaboration with governments and local partners dealing with affected communities to identify the most urgent needs and ensure the safety of children, and their ability to continue learning and receive psychological and social support as needed.

Efforts include providing cash assistance, technical support, clean water, sanitation materials, medical supplies, ensuring safe learning continuity, and reconstruction efforts to return children to school as soon as possible.

UNICEF emphasizes the protection of children from forced separation from their families, safeguarding them from violence, including sexual violence, as well as ensuring access to clean water, sanitation services, and hygiene promotion.

Additionally, efforts to prevent and control infectious diseases, strengthen local health workers' capacities, and enhance access to food security are underway.

Climate change in East and Southern Africa over the past decade has seen prolonged droughts and severe floods in several countries, including Kenya and Somalia during 2020-2023, prompting emergency declarations in other nations such as Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.