Human Rights Watch Criticises Kenyan Government’s Delayed Response To Deadly Floods

Human Rights Watch Criticises Kenyan Government’s Delayed Response To Deadly Floods

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Human Rights Watch have accused Kenyan authorities of not responding properly to the ongoing floods that have claimed the lives of over 170 individuals since the onset of the rainy season.

The rights group criticized the government for failing to learn from last year’s rainy season, which claimed the lives of hundreds of people. Despite warnings from the meteorology department that there would be increased rainfall attributed to El Niño until early this year, Ruto stated in October that the country had been spared by the weather pattern.

Although Kenya’s Meteorology Department issued an early warning before the commencement of the rainy season, President William Ruto delayed and formed a response committee only on April 24. By that time, nearly 100 fatalities had been recorded due to the flooding.

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Kenya and other regions in East Africa, have been grappling with overwhelming floods that have displaced 150,000 individuals, causing them to seek refuge in numerous camps.

Previously, the government announced the allocation of at least 10 billion Kenyan shillings ($75 million) to prepare a nationwide response. However, there is uncertainty surrounding the utilization of the funds, with critics accusing the government of misappropriation.

In Mai Mahiu, located in the western part of the country, those affected by the ongoing flooding have criticized the government for its sluggish response. At least 45 individuals lost their lives after a river overflowed and demolished homes, with over 80 individuals reported missing since Monday. The debris has yet to be cleared to facilitate the recovery of any buried bodies.

In response to the looming threat of further rain across the country throughout May, the government directed residents living in flood-prone areas to either relocate voluntarily or face forced evacuation.

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Melissa Enoch

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