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Kenya deploys rescue choppers and boats as floods persist

Monday May 6, 2024

Kenya Wildlife Service

Air and aqua operations are ongoing to rescue dozens of families marooned in their homes in Kenya's western Nyando area amid relentless floods sweeping across the country.

On Saturday, the River Nyando burst its banks, submerging several villages and paralysing transport on the busy Kisumu-Nairobi highway.

More than 1,000 households were forced to flee their homes, local media reported.

There were no immediate reports of casualties but local police said water levels were still rising.

A joint team of the Kenya Red Cross, Kenya Coast Guard Services and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) are using boats and helicopters to access the submerged villages.

A chopper belonging to Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) is airlifting those rescued, with fears that most families spent the night in the cold in the affected villages.

This comes as the government is evacuating more people from flood-prone areas.

President William Ruto on Monday said the government would give each affected family $70 (£60) to help them seek alternative accommodation for three months.

Across the nation, the floods have claimed the lives of 228 people since March, with 72 still missing, according to government figures.

Kenya and neighbouring Tanzania escaped major damage from Cyclone Hidaya that weakened after making landfall on Saturday.


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