Cologne/Nairobi. 120 people have lost their lives in recent weeks due to the severe storms in Kenya. After months of drought, El Niño caused heavy rainfall which led to severe flooding, landslides and mudslides in many regions of the country. 160,000 people are currently affected and 18,000 have had to leave their homes.
"The dried-out soil cannot absorb the water and floods tear away houses and animals. Storms sweep over trees, many fields and roads are destroyed and helpers hardly manage to reach the people in need" says Martin Schömburg, Country Office Manager of Malteser International. "It is important that we are able to provide help as quick as possible”.
In order to improve the situation for the local population employees distribute cash to 570 families with particular needs to buy food and other essential goods. In addition, Malteser International ensures the operation of boreholes for the clean drinking water supply to prevent diarrhoea. Children and pregnant women receive enriched supplementary food.
According to the UN, 3.1 million people in Kenya are already suffering from severe food shortages. The reason for the above-average rainfall is the difference in water temperatures in the western and eastern Indian Ocean of up to 2 degrees Celsius. Due to the enormous difference in temperature the water evaporates and causes heavy rain fronts.
"Due to months of drought, many families, especially in the north of the country, could only have one meal a day. The situation has gotten even worse since the floods have led to the destruction of crops and deaths of farm animals. As a result, malnutrition increases rapidly. Furthermore, the standing water enhances the risk of diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera," explains Schömburg.