Kenya: Rescue Teams Turn to Choppers and Speed Boats Evacuate Flood Victims

Nairobi — State-owned and private hired helicopter and speed boat are turning out to be the most preferred to save hundreds of people stranded by rising flood waters in in various parts of the country.

Rescue teams in Nyando have been using the Kenya Wildlife Services chooper to map out and reach families marroned by floods in their homes after River Nyando broke its banks Saturday evening.

The Kenya Red Cross stated that so far, the air and aqua rescue operations had evacuated 22 people where over 40 people had been marooned across 20 households.

The Coast Guard brought in two boats to aid in the mission.

In Narok, the Mara Elephant Project working closely with the Kenya Red Cross deployed its chopper to Hammerkop Migration Camp to evacuate six camp staff members trapped by flood waters.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Red Cross says at least 1,048 people in Baringo South have been successfully evacuated to safety in the last two days.

“This was made possible with support from the National and County Government, community members, Savage Widerness and the Kenya Red Cross. However, there are still others marooned in Sintaan, Baringo South, and preparations are underway to evacuate them as well,” the Agency said

The flooding has wreaked havoc in Kenya, causing death and destruction. At least 228 people have been killed.

Over 227,000 people have been affected by the floods across the country since March when the heavy rains linked to El Nino started.

Additionally, he said, 72 people remain missing in various incidents nationwide, with 42,500 households displaced, affecting around 212,600 people.

The schools that have been destroyed number 1,967.

In anticipation of Cyclone Hidaya, President William Ruto’s government has ordered mandatory evacuations for residents living close to 178 dams and water reservoirs in 33 counties.

During his national address to the nation on Friday, Ruto said he had directed the Ministry of Education to postpone the reopening of schools for their second term until further notice. Besides the schools destroyed since March, many other schools are being used to shelter those who have been displaced by the floods.

The Meteorological Department now expects the rainfall to continue until June.

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