6/25/2024
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Kenya president postpones reopening of schools as flood-related deaths pass 200


BY EVELYNE MUSAMBI
Saturday May 4, 2024

Kenyan President William Ruto has postponed next week’s planned reopening of schools until further notice, as heavy rains and floods that have killed more than 200 people continue.

The president in his state of the nation address on Friday said that “meteorological reports paint a dire picture,” citing the possibility of Cyclone Hidaya hitting coastal Kenya in coming days.

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Kenya and other parts of East Africa have been overwhelmed by flooding, with more than 150,000 displaced people living in camps across the country.

Schools originally were to reopen this week, but the education ministry postponed that by a week. Students will now wait for the announcement of new reopening dates as some schools remain flooded and others have been damaged. Some displaced people have been living in schools while the government prepares to relocate them to camps.

The government has ordered people living near 178 dams and reservoirs that are either full or nearly full to evacuate or be forcefully moved.

Water levels at two major hydroelectric dams have reached historic highs and the government has warned those living downstream along the Tana River.

Last week, a boat capsized on the river, which flows to the Indian Ocean, leaving seven people dead and 13 others missing. A passenger bus was also swept off a bridge along the same river last month.

The government has been accused of an inadequate response to the floods.

The flooding has left more than 155 people dead in neighboring Tanzania, where Cyclone Hidaya is expected to hit coastal areas. Hundreds of people have been affected in Burundi, Ethiopia and Somalia as well.



 





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